Brown Bag Lecture: The Composition of Life and Health: Elements, Particles, and Atoms in Late Renaissance Physiology

Elisabeth Moreau, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Monday, May 1, 2017 - 12:00pm

Chemical Heritage Foundation (Philadelphia, PA)

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Moreau’s project at CHF is centered on physiology as the intersection of medicine and matter theory, and explores its relationship with natural philosophy and alchemy between 1570 and 1660. In this presentation she will first examine the ultimate composition of the healthy human body, studied in the physiological part of medicine. Then she will consider the status of medicine and physiology in the historiography of early modern science and, in particular, of the “Scientific Revolution.” Finally, she will argue that the physiological debates on the bodily invisible structure stimulated the emergence of a discrete definition of matter, either atomistic or corpuscular, in the early 17th century.