Anatomy and the Organization of Knowledge, 1500–1850 by Brian Muñoz, Matthew Landers

By Brian Muñoz, Matthew Landers

Throughout early sleek Europe, the starting to be clinical perform of dissection triggered new and insightful rules concerning the human physique. This choice of essays explores the impression of anatomical wisdom on wider problems with studying and tradition.

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Extra resources for Anatomy and the Organization of Knowledge, 1500–1850

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French argues that Harvey’s frequent recourse to visual evidence in De motu cordis would have been familiar to his contemporaries as part of the histo- 30 Anatomy and the Organization of Knowledge ria. 10 Harvey’s challenge was to frame the elements of his historia in such a way as to produce a body acceptable to the larger field of knowledge encompassed within natural philosophy. His first move in this regard was to expand that field of knowledge through the use of Aristotle’s texts on animals.

Studies like Larry Neal’s The Rise of Financial Capitalism (1990), Joyce Oldham Appleby’s Economic Thought and Ideology in Seventeenth-Century England (1978) and P. G. M. Dickson’s The Financial Revolution in England (1967) document how state debts and international bullion shortages in the late seventeenth century prompted dramatic shifts in how Britons thought about and attempted to manage wealth. As Neal’s study shows, the issues of bullion shortages and state debt were largely a product of Britain’s growing interaction with international markets.

This is not to say that every text that deems itself an ‘anatomy of ’ is in the anatomical mode. Numerous texts aspired to imitate the anatomy without satisfying the conditions of such an endeavour. I would argue, as above, that the criteria for anatomies are three-fold: first, the abstract division of a subject into parts; second, the use of systematic organization as an integrating form to bring diverse parts together; and third, the resulting comprehensive treatment of a subject within the boundaries of the organizational structure.

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