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The Animal Spirit Doctrine and the Origins of Neurophysiology$
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C.U.M. Smith, Eugenio Frixione, Stanley Finger, and William Clower

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199766499

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766499.001.0001

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Theory and Argument

Theory and Argument

(p.127) Chapter 8 Theory and Argument
The Animal Spirit Doctrine and the Origins of Neurophysiology

C. U. M. Smith

Eugenio Frixione

Stanley Finger

William Clower

Oxford University Press

This chapter identifies four attempts to create a successor theory and to accept the new findings of experiment and microscopy during the 17th century. It first studies Francis Glisson, who is known for his work on rickets and his research on the true function of the liver. Next, it takes a look at William Croone, who published his enquiries into the movement of skeletal muscle in De ratione motus musculorum, and Giovanni Borelli, whose intromechanics can be related to the physiology of the animal spirit. The chapter ends with a discussion on Thomas Willis, whose Cerebri anatome is considered by some to be the foundation work of neurology.

Keywords:   successor theory, Francis Glisson, rickets, liver, William Croone, skeletal muscle, Giovanni Borelli, intromechanics, Thomas Willis, neurology

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