Document Detail

Early Modern Experimentation on Live Animals.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22684270     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Starting from the works by Aselli (De lactibus sive lacteis venis, 1627) on the milky veins and Harvey (1628, translated in 1993) on the motion of the heart and the circulation of the blood, the practice of vivisection witnessed a resurgence in the early modern period. I discuss some of the most notable cases in the century spanning from Aselli's work to the investigations of fluid pressure in plants and animals by Stephen Hales (Vegetable Staticks, 1727). Key figures in my study include Johannes Walaeus, Jean Pecquet, Marcello Malpighi, Reinier de Graaf, Richard Lower, Anton Nuck, and Anton de Heide. Although vivisection dates from antiquity, early modern experimenters expanded the range of practices and epistemic motivations associated with it, displaying considerable technical skills and methodological awareness about the problems associated with the animals being alive and the issue of generalizing results to humans. Many practitioners expressed great discomfort at the suffering of the animals; however, many remained convinced that their investigations were not only indispensable from an epistemic standpoint but also had potential medical applications. Early modern vivisection experiments were both extensive and sophisticated and cannot be ignored in the literature of early modern experimentation or of experimentation on living organisms across time.
Domenico Bertoloni Meli
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-6-9
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the history of biology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  0022-5010     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-6-11     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0202503     Medline TA:  J Hist Biol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN, USA,
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