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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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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: 24 October 2021

Non-Spiritual Physiology I:

Non-Spiritual Physiology I:

“Physic” Rather than “Psychic” Functions

(p.173) Chapter 11 Non-Spiritual Physiology I:
The Animal Spirit Doctrine and the Origins of Neurophysiology

C. U. M. Smith

Eugenio Frixione

Stanley Finger

William Clower

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines the views about physical or natural responses from ancient Greek philosophers until the revolutionary medical theories that were introduced by Giorgio Baglivi and Francis Glisson. It studies Baglivi's claim that fibers composing the organs—particularly the muscles—are directly responsive to irritation. It shows that the Scientific Revolution that occurred during the Renaissance had deeply affected the understanding of living matter in a deep and very basic way: Organs were all composed of fibers, despite their differences in form and function. Gottfried Leibniz is credited as being the first one to have held this view.

Keywords:   physical responses, medical theories, Giorgio Baglivi, Francis Glisson, fibers, irritation, Scientific Revolution, living matter, organs, Gottfried Leibniz

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