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The Body Republic: Social Order and Human Body in Renaissance Medical Thought

Josep Lluís Barona
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Vol. 15, No. 2 (1993), pp. 165-180
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23331579
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Body Republic: Social Order and Human Body in Renaissance Medical Thought
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Abstract

The representation of the human body built by medicine had historical references and analogical relations with other compounds of the culture of each particular period. The organic model, the coordinated and hierarchical dependence of the body parts, its subordination to a prevailing element (the brain or the heart, depending on the authors and times) guided directly by a soul infused by God... These are some of the aspects which reflect the relation between the image of the body and the justification of the ideological and social order, as a natural one. Among the numerous sources of Renaissance medicine that could bring significant facts about this theme, the present work is based on anatomical treatises and books of natural philosophy like those written by Bernardino Montaña de Monserrate, Alonso de Fuentes, Realdo Colombo, Hieronimus Montaltus, Andrea Cesalpino and Miguel Sabuco, all of whom are good exponents of Renaissance anatomy and physiological thought.

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