Omnis Fibra Ex Fibra: Fibre OEconomies in Bonnet’s and Diderot’s Models of Organic Order

in Early Science and Medicine
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In a long-term transformation, that begins in Antiquity but takes a crucial turn in the Renaissance anatomies, the “fibre” becomes from around 1750 the operative building block and at the same time the first unifying principle of function-structure-complexes of organic bodies. It occupies the role that the cell takes up in the cell œconomies of the second third of the nineteenth century. In this paper, I will first discuss some key notions, technical analogies, and images that are related to “fibre”-concepts from Andreas Vesalius to Albrecht von Haller and then focus on Charles Bonnet’s and Denis Diderot’s fibre oeconomies. In Bonnet’s and Diderot’s fibre oeconomies, the self-active, regulating properties of fibre-agents and their material structures, that reach from fibre bundles, tissues and membranes to apparati of organs, are united within the concrete whole of individual organized “systems” or “networks.”

Omnis Fibra Ex Fibra: Fibre OEconomies in Bonnet’s and Diderot’s Models of Organic Order

in Early Science and Medicine

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