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In: Descartes in the Classroom
The Quarrel over Swammerdam’s Posthumous Works reconstructs the vicissitudes of Johannes Swammerdam’s Biblia naturae, a pivotal collection of writings in the history of science. Bequeathed to the polymath Melchisédech Thévenot, the manuscripts and drawings of the treatises constituting this collection were instead kept by the editor Hermann Wingendorp after Swammerdam’s death (1680), triggering a quarrel over their publication.

By analysing Swammerdam’s scientific legacy and by offering an edition of the correspondence testifying to the efforts towards such publication, this book sheds light on the editorial history and intellectual context of Swammerdam’s Biblia. This reveals not only an intricate plot of authorized and unauthorized attempts to publish it, but also an exchange of scientific texts and instruments in the late seventeenth century.
In: Nuncius
In: The Quarrel over Swammerdam's Posthumous Works
In: The Quarrel over Swammerdam's Posthumous Works
In: The Quarrel over Swammerdam's Posthumous Works
In: The Quarrel over Swammerdam's Posthumous Works
In: The Quarrel over Swammerdam's Posthumous Works

Abstract

In this paper I provide a commentary on and edition of the unpublished and apparently incomplete Medicina contracta of the Flemish philosopher Arnold Geulincx (1624–1669). This short treatise, dating to c. 1668–1669, was not included in the edition of Geulincx’s works edited by J.P.N. Land, on the ground of its apparent unoriginality. However, it reveals the attempt, by Geulincx, to develop a medicine based on a new account of disease (intended in Cartesian-Platonic terms of the impossibility of the mind using the body through animal spirits), and integrating avant-garde solutions typical of iatrochemistry (in particular those of Franciscus Sylvius) and iatromechanics. The text, which I also consider in the light of Geulincx’s disputations in physiology, is moreover revelatory of his ongoing efforts in understanding the nature of respiration and its related diseases and conditions, such as apoplexy, and of his progressive, albeit not uncritical acceptance of Cartesianism.

In: Nuncius

Abstract

This article offers an assessment of Henricus Regius’s (1598-1679) pre-Cartesian sources and their role in his appropriation of Descartes’s ideas, via two main questions: 1) Who was Regius, doctrinally speaking, before his exposure to Cartesianism? And 2) how did he use Descartes’s theories before his quarrel with Descartes himself in the mid-1640s? These questions are addressed by means of a textual analysis that concerns his theory of matter. In this article, I will show that 1) Regius started out with a scientific program he had found in Ramism and the medical theories of Heurnius and Santorio. 2) On this basis, he developed a physiology encompassing Descartes’s theory of blood circulation and sensory perception. 3) Regius completed the resulting physiology with a theory of matter more developed than Descartes’s, and which he appropriated from Santorio, Basson, and Gorlaeus.

In: Early Science and Medicine