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Towards the Authority of Vesalius. Studies on Medicine and the Human Body from Antiquity to the Renaissance and Beyond

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The authority of Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) in reviving human anatomy is without any doubt a landmark in the history of science. Yet his breakthrough was inconceivable without his predecessor’s works. Moreover, later on, his own legacy would not remain untouched or undisputed. The question of scientific authority is not new; however it has hardly been tackled in a multidisciplinary and diachronic way. This volume brings together contributions from international scholars working in the field of theology, art history, philosophy, history of science and historical linguistics. Its goal is to contextualize and analyse the complex interaction between dogma and authority on the one hand and empirical progress on the other, both in the development of anatomy and the views on the human body, mainly before Vesalius’s time. Indeed, it is not the volume’s aim to focus exclusively on the role of Vesalius nor to assess the concept of medical and anatomical authority in a comprehensive way. Avoiding to repeat insights from the history of science as such, it intends to put old views to the test, and to bring up new questions and answers from diverse perspectives concerning the work of Vesalius and his predecessors and successors, by presenting different case studies from Antiquity to the Early Modern Times.
ISBN:978-2-503-57914-6
Publication year:2018