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The Gestation of German BiologyPhilosophy and Physiology from Stahl to Schelling$
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John H. Zammito

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226520797

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226520827.001.0001

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Albrecht von Haller as Arbiter of German Medicine: Göttingen and Bern (1736–1777)

Albrecht von Haller as Arbiter of German Medicine: Göttingen and Bern (1736–1777)

(p.71) Chapter Three Albrecht von Haller as Arbiter of German Medicine: Göttingen and Bern (1736–1777)
The Gestation of German Biology

John H. Zammito

University of Chicago Press

Haller made the new University of Göttingen one of the preeminent centers of Enlightenment in Germany, not least through the development of his new program of research in physiology. Haller’s appointment to the chair of anatomy, botany and surgery led to his prominence in the eye of the director of the new university, Münchhausen, who entrusted him as well with the creation and direction of the new Göttingen Academy of Science. In addition, Haller took over the editorship of the Göttingische Gelehrten Anzeigen, raising that journal to a decisive role in the periodical press of the German Enlightenment. In physiology specifically, Haller engaged in numerous controversies on animal vivisection and comparative physiology, culminating in his major address to the Göttingen Academy, De Partibus Corporis Humani Sensilibus et Irritabilius [Eng. Tr., Dissertation on the Sensible and Irritable Parts of Animals]. This occasioned a massive mobilization of physiological research across the continent, transforming that research field. When Haller returned to Switzerland in 1753, he exercised his intellectual prominence and especially his dominance of the life sciences to defend a staunchly Protestant vision of Enlightenment and science in alliance with Charles Bonnet.

Keywords:   Albrecht von Haller, University of Göttingen, Göttingen Academy of Science, Göttingische Gelehrten Anzeigen, animal vivisection, irritability, sensibility, physiology, De Partibus Corporis Humani Sensilibus et Irritabilius, Charles Bonnet

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