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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 Animal Projects of the Paris Academy of Sciences

The Animal Projects of the Paris Academy of Sciences

Chapter:
(p.92) Three The Animal Projects of the Paris Academy of Sciences
Source:
The Courtiers' Anatomists
Author(s):

Anita Guerrini

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226248332.003.0003

In the last third of the seventeenth century, the Paris Academy of Sciences pursued two dissection projects, of exotic animals and of living and dead domestic animals coupled with the dissection of human cadavers. These projects led to a new experimental comparative anatomy that valued animals as models for humans and as legitimate objects of knowledge in themselves. Claude Perrault led the Academy’s anatomical work, establishing a style of experimenting, collaboration, and publication that set it apart from other European academies. New anatomical subjects included exotic animals from the royal menageries at Vincennes and Versailles. The Academy based its Christian vitalism on Perrault’s mechanistic but non-Cartesian theory of animal mechanism.

Keywords:   Paris Academy of Sciences, Claude Perrault, animals, dissection, comparative anatomy, menageries, Vincennes, Versailles, experimenting, mechanism

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