By Brian Muñoz, Matthew Landers
Throughout early sleek Europe, the transforming into medical perform of dissection brought on new and insightful principles in regards to the human physique. This choice of essays explores the influence of anatomical wisdom on wider problems with studying and tradition.
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Additional info for Anatomy and the Organization of Knowledge, 1500–1850
46 Clearly Burton’s narrative detours bear a relation to the main argument; however, these connections are not logical – if one means syllogistic – but, rather, systematic in structure. Digressions lead the audience to related material, but not such material that by its inclusion one satisfies the requirements of a premise in logic. The intention of the author is to be comprehensive in his presentation of information, not logical. Systematic organization is demonstrative, not persuasive. With regard to narrative detours then, the author is forced to call them digressions because they tend to confound the reader’s ability to perceive associations in the logic.
One can allege then that the ‘brain-sickness’ of the narrator finds its way into the organizational scheme – and we, the audience, must stand back and wonder at Democritus Junior’s passionate dissection and uncontrollable laughter. As such, satire remains an integral part of Burton’s scheme; his project appears to be driven by an effort to lampoon scientific attempts at systemization. He settles on the anatomy as a mode, because of its insistence on the philosophical value of the ‘part’. In this way, Burton tweaks the anatomical genre to suit his purposes, in effect creating a mock-anatomy.
While both Russell and Cushing appear, like most medical historians, to prioritize the emergence and influence of Vesalius’s anatomical plates, the eventual arrival of the text of De fabrica in England and (more importantly) its system of arrangement deserves some attention. One can assume quite safely that versions of the original edition of De fabrica appeared in England during the late sixteenth century. Evidence for such a claim comes from the manner in which certain English anatomical texts mimic Vesalian methods of organization.
Anatomy and the Organization of Knowledge, 1500–1850 by Brian Muñoz, Matthew Landers