Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Animal Spirit Doctrine and the Origins of Neurophysiology$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

Vibrations and Subtle Fluids

Vibrations and Subtle Fluids

(p.147) Chapter 9 Vibrations and Subtle Fluids
The Animal Spirit Doctrine and the Origins of Neurophysiology

C. U. M. Smith

Eugenio Frixione

Stanley Finger

William Clower

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the vibration theory, which was unable to dethrone the doctrine of animal spirit. It discusses Isaac Newton's “aether,” which supposedly encompassed the universe and everything in it, including all living beings. Newton suggested a neurophysiology that was based on vibrations in the aether, which were confined in the nerves' “capillamenta.” It then studies David Hartley, who adapted Newton's idea and turned it into a comprehensive and physiological psychology. This chapter stresses that the vibration theory was able to reflect a growing disillusionment with the received doctrine, but didn't find favor with mainstream physiologists and anatomists.

Keywords:   vibration theory, aether, Isaac Newton, capillamenta, David Hartley, physiological psychology

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .