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William Harvey's Natural Philosophy

$44.99 (C)

  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521031080

$ 44.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • William Harvey (1578-1657) was one of the greatest figures in the history of medicine. His major contribution to the medical sciences was his discovery of the circulation of blood. He was also the personal physician to both James I and Charles I. William Harvey's natural philosophy was a view of the world that he developed during his education in Cambridge and Padua. It contained ways of structuring knowledge, formulating questions, and arriving at answers that directed the program of work in which he discovered the circulation of the blood. This book, the most extensive discussion of Harvey to be published in over 25 years, reports extensively on the views of those who argued for and against him. Professor French studies the major changes in natural philosophy in a period considered central to the history of science, and argues that natural philosophy, and particularly Harvey's specialty within it--anatomy--were theocentric. This work, which makes extensive use of primary (Latin) sources and is illustrated throughout with seventeenth-century illustrations, should be of value to historians of medicine and physicians interested in the history of their field.

    • The first study in over 25 years of one of the greatest figures in the history of medicine
    • Makes a unique study of all the Harvey source material, including extensive Latin texts
    • Illustrated throughout by seventeenth-century anatomical and other illustrations
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...a fascinating book." Choice

    "Roger French gives us a learned, intellectual history of William Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood and its eventual acceptance. It can be used as a handy summary of Harvey's ideas and contemporary debates about them, but it also introduces an important argument about the leading place of learned medicine in the development of experimental natural philosophy....French's book ought to be welcomed both for his sound summary of the course of the early modern arguments over the motion of the heart and the circulation of the blood, and for his arguments placing Harvey (and medicine more generally) at the heart of the scientific revolution of early modern Europe." Harold J. Cook, American Historical Review

    "French's careful analysis of the Demotu cordis itself, separating the discoveries of the 'forceful systole' and of the pulse from the inference to the circulation, seems especially significant for the understanding both of Harvey's discovery itself and of the many misunderstandings that followed." Isis

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521031080
    • length: 408 pages
    • dimensions: 233 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.587kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    1. Natural philosophy and anatomy
    2. Harvey's sources in Renaissance anatomy
    3. Harvey's research programme
    4. The anatomy lectures and the circulation
    5. The structure of De motu cordis
    6. Early reactions in England
    7. Overseas
    8. Two natural philosophies
    9. Circulation through Europe
    10. Back to Cambridge
    11. Harvey and experimental philosophy

  • Author

    Roger French, University of Cambridge

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