The introduction outlines the various key concepts for the remainder of the book. Paris was the center of cultural and scientific pursuits during the seventeenth-century, and science was embedded in the cultural pursuits of the city, as the same people practiced science, architecture, art, music, and literature simultaneously. Other individuals that have resisted disciplinary categories, animals, played an enormous role in the birth of the experimental method, natural history, and the reconfiguration of the human and animal body. The dissection of animals, even of live animals, was neither controversial nor unusual, and resulting doctrines such as the circulation of the blood, were not of concern to the Catholic Church, or to Protestant churches, in the way that astronomy was in this period. Dissection came to play a vital role in the development of the science of natural history, as natural history encompassed collecting, describing, classifying, anddissecting.
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