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Medical Investigation in Seventeenth Century England

Papers Read at a Clark Library Seminar, October 14, 1967

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Co-author: Lester S. King
Published: 1967
Language: English
Wordcount: 15,285 / 56 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 33.9
LoC Categories: R, D
Downloads: 557
Added to site: 2009.09.18 25305
Genres: History, Health

a physiochemical explanation of the mechanisms of development, finally admitting:

I persuade my selfe it appeareth evident enough, that to effect this worke of generation, there needeth not be supposed a forming vertue ... of an unknowne power and operation.... Yet, in discourse, for conveniency and shortnesse of expression we shall not quite banish that terme from all commerce with us; so that what we meane by it, be rightly understood; which is, the complexe, assemblement, or chayne of all the causes, that concurre to produce this effect; as they are sett on foote, to this end by the great Architect and Moderatour of them, God Almighty, whose instrument Nature is.[11]

Digby's general theory thus represents a strange mixture of epigenesis and pangenesis, and is not entirely devoid of "virtues." It is, however, a bold attempt to explain embryonic development in terms commensurate with his time, and it embodies the same optimistic belief that the mechanism of embryogenesis lay accessible to man'



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