What Ever happened to Francis Glisson? Albrecht Haller and the Fate of Eighteenth-Century Irritability

Article English OPEN
Giglioni, Guido (2008)

This article investigates the reasons behind the disappearance of Francis Glisson’s theory of irritability during the eighteenth century. At a time when natural investigations were becoming increasingly polarized between mind and matter in the attempt to save both man’s consciousness and the inert nature of the res extensa, Glisson’s notion of a natural perception embedded in matter did not satisfy the new science’s basic injunction not to superimpose perceptions and appetites on nature. Knowledge of nature could not be based on knowledge within nature, i.e., on the very knowledge that nature has of itself; or – to look at the same question from the point of view of the human mind – man’s consciousness could not be seen as participating in forms of natural selfhood. Albrecht Haller played a key role in this story. Through his experiments, Haller thought he had conclusively demonstrated that the response given by nature when irritated did not betray any natural perceptivity, any inner life, any sentiment interi´eur. In doing so, he provided a less bewildering theory of irritability for the rising communities of experimental physiology.
  • References (74)
    74 references, page 1 of 8

    Boerhaave, Herman. 1740. Institutions de medicine. Translated by Julian Offray de la Mettrie. Paris: Huart and Briasson.

    Bordeu, The´ophile de. 1818. Œuvres comple`tes. Paris: Caille et Ravier.

    Boury, Dominique. 2004. La philosophie me´dicale de The´ophile de Bordeu. Paris: Honore´ Champion.

    Bouveresse, Rene´e. 1992. L'ide´e d'animisme universel chez Spinoza et Leibniz. Paris: Vrin.

    Campanella, Tommaso. 1620. De sensu rerum et magia. Edited by Tobias Adami. Frankfurt: Egenolph Emmel and Gottfried Tampach.

    Canguilhem, Georges. 1977. La formation du concept de reflexe aux XVIIe et XVIIIe sie`cles. Paris: Vrin.

    Cardoso, Adelino. 2008. Vida e Percep¸ca˜o de Si: Figuras da Subjectividade do Se´culo XVII. Lisboa: Edic¸o˜ es Colibri.

    Cook, Harold. 2000. “Boerhaave and the Flight from Reason in Medicine.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 74:221-240.

    Cudworth, Ralph. [1845] 1995. The True Intellectual System of the Universe. London: Tegg (reprint: Bristol: Thoemmes).

    Cunningham, Andrew. 1990. “Medicine to Calm the Mind: Boerhaave's Medical System and Why It Was Adopted in Edinburgh.” In The Medical Enlightenment of the Eighteenth Century, edited by Andrew Cunningham and Roger French, 40-66. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Metrics
    0
    views in OpenAIRE
    0
    views in local repository
    7
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    SAS-SPACE - IRUS-UK 0 7
Share - Bookmark