Chapter ID: CBB030659484

Elements of Descartes’ Medical Scientia: Books, Medical Schools, and Collaborations (2021)


In this chapter, I explore the sources and collaborators that assisted Descartes to shape his knowledge of medicine, a branch of his tree of philosophy. I highlight three aspects: (1.) a direct collaboration with Dutch scholars such as Plemp, Vorstius, and Regius, who helped Descartes acquire anatomical skills, or develop anatomical observations; (2.) the contacts with scholars and physicians working in Leiden; and (3.) the references to, and possible uses of, medical books. What permeates all these three areas is the underlying presence of the Medical School of Padua, where the large majority of these scholars had their training, and the connection he had with the Medical Faculty of Leiden. In sum, Descartes’ medical knowledge emerged from a combination of personal reflections, anatomical observations, collaborations, and the contacts with institutions that grounded medicine as a modern scientia.

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Book Fabrizio Baldassarri; Fabio Zampieri (2021) Scientiae in the History of Medicine. unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Zampieri, Fabio
Bertoloni Meli, Domenico
Reeves, Eileen A.
Stroup, Alice
Bitbol-Hespériès, Annie
Chang, Ku-ming
Bruniana & Campanelliana: Ricerche Filosofiche e Materiali Storico-testuali
Galilæana: Journal of Galilean Studies
Asclepio: Archivo Iberoamericano de Historia de la Medicina
L'Erma di Bretschneider
Edizioni ETS
Johns Hopkins University Press
University of Chicago
Princeton University
Franco Angeli
Mechanism; mechanical philosophy
Natural philosophy
Descartes, René
Harvey, William
Malpighi, Marcello
Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm von
Morgagni, Giovanni Battista
Stahl, Georg Ernst
Time Periods
17th century
Early modern
18th century
16th century
19th century
University of Padua
Académie des Sciences, Paris

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