History and Philosophy Of Science | Texts, Bodies and Machines
X705 | 7460 | Nico Bertoloni Meli


This course focuses on early modern perspectives on human bodies,
animal bodies, and automata.  We will explore historical and
philosophical issues relevant to explanations of the operations of
bodies, and review secondary literature on the representation of the
body during the centuries after the invention of print.  Thus we
will examine the period from 1450 to 1700, devoting special emphasis
to investigators fundamental to the history of science and medicine--
such as Vesalius, Descartes, Harvey, Borelli, Malpighi.  Some of the
main areas covered include the role of the soul and it faculties,
microsopy and mechanism, mechanical explanations at the bedside, and
artistic and literary styles in anatomical texts.  The course is
offered in both the History Department and the History and
Philosophy of Science Department, in order to accommodate a broad
range of graduate student interests to foster productive
interdisplinary discussion.