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The animal spirit doctrine and the origins of neurophysiology

Author: C U M Smith
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, ©2012.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English
Summary:
This book examines the history of Western attempts to explain how messages might be sent from the sense organs to the brain and from the brain to the muscles. It focuses on a construct called animal spirit, which would permeate philosophy and guide physiology and medicine for over two millennia.
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: C U M Smith
ISBN: 9780199766499 0199766495
OCLC Number: 753350996
Description: xiv, 277 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Contents: 1. Psyche and Soma --
2. Alexandria and Hellenistic Psychophysiology --
3. Biblical Anima-Spirit --
4. The Islamic Ascendancy --
5. Animal Spirit in an Age of Faith --
6. Rene Descartes --
7. Experiment and Observation --
8. Theory and Argument --
9. Vibrations and Subtle Fluids --
10. Animal Spirit in Action --
11. Non-Spiritual Physiology I: "Physic" Rather than "Psychic" Functions --
12. Non-Spiritual Physiology II: Irritable Fibers --
13. The Increasingly Electrical World --
14. Electric Fishes and the Path to Animal Electricity --
15. From Fishes to Frogs and Nerve Electricity.
Responsibility: C.U.M. Smith [and others].

Abstract:

For millennia, the activity of the nervous system was believed to be due to indwelling animal spirit. This book describes the rise, development, apex, and slow decline of this idea, and its  Read more...

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