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The Courtiers' AnatomistsAnimals and Humans in Louis XIV's Paris$
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Anita Guerrini

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226247663

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226248332.001.0001

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The Anatomical Origins of the Paris Academy of Sciences

The Anatomical Origins of the Paris Academy of Sciences

(p.50) Two The Anatomical Origins of the Paris Academy of Sciences
The Courtiers' Anatomists

Anita Guerrini

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the implications in France of William Harvey’s discovery of the circulation of the blood and GaspareAselli’s discovery of the lacteal vessels, published in 1627–28. Harvey reconceived the relationship between natural history and anatomy and between historia and scientia in two important ways: he validated a descriptive methodology that explicitly did not include final causes, and his dissection techniques constituted a method that led to an experimental science based on animals that not only described but also revealed new knowledge. Passionate discussion of these issues accompanied by much more dissection over the next two decades led to a second watershed, Jean Pecquet’s discovery of the thoracic duct, published in 1651.

Keywords:   William Harvey, circulation, GaspareAselli, lacteal vessels, natural history, anatomy, experiment, Jean Pecquet, thoracic duct

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