Domenico Bertoloni Meli professeur invité par l’équipe Mathesis

Mécanique, médecine et anatomie à l’âge classique

Le labex TransferS et l’USR République des Savoirs invitent, du 2 au 31 mai, le Professeur Domenico Bertoloni Meli – Professeur d’Histoire et de philosophie des sciences à l’Indiana University, Bloomington (États-Unis).

Mercredi 6 mai

Visualizing Disease and the Dutch Tradition of Observationes
dans le contexte de la Journée d’études Observation and Experiments as Forms of Writing : Describing, Registering, Recording and New Scientific Genres in Early Modern Europe, organisée par Claire Crignon, Dana Jalobeanu et Sophie Roux
45 rue d’Ulm, Salle Pasteur
Recent research identified the emergence of a new literary tradition in the early modern period that has no precedent in classical antiquity : the collection of Observationes. Observationes concerned individual cases, often related to medicine or natural history. Within this broad group, I study a number of works produced in Amsterdam by several anatomists, the most famous being Nicolaas Tulp, immortalized by Rembrandt, and Frederik Ruysch, who established the pre-eminent anatomical museum of his age. All the authors involved were either surgeons or closely tied to surgery – Tulp and Ruysch being both lecturers to the surgeons’ guild. I show how such collections of Observationes, especially those produced in the Low Countries, played an important role in the emergence of the illustrated pathology treatise, joining intellectual transformations to the Dutch visual tradition involving a new attention to detail.

Jeudi 7 mai

Revisiting De humani corporis fabrica by Andreas Vesalius
29 rue d’Ulm, Salle 235C, 17.00-19.00
Images from the great (in all senses) work by Andreas Vesalius, De humani corporis fabrica (1543) have become iconic and ubiquitous. Nonetheless, the complexity and range of Vesalius’s iconographic enterprise are considerably richer than standard accounts would suggest. This talk attempts to provide a sense of the variety of challenges faced by Vesalius and posed to us by his images, large and small.

Mercredi 20 mai

Marcello Malpighi on Mechanistic Explanations as Investigative Projects
dans le contexte de la Journée d’études Perspectives croisées sur la notion de mécanisme (xviie siècle-xxe siècle), organisée par Michel Morange et Sophie Roux
45 rue d’Ulm, Salle Pasteur
The problem of generation posed a major challenge to mechanistic anatomists. Some, such as Swammerdam, adopted a radical solution by advocating a form of preformation whereby all living organisms were created by God ab initio. By contrast, Malpighi argued that each organism was created by its parents, generation after generation. His solution posed the question of how this process occurs : he had no detailed answer, though he tried to outline a suitable scenario. My talk reconsiders some of his published texts and examines some preliminary drawings of a monstrous egg that initially seemed to support Swammerdam’s views.

Jeudi 21 mai

Machines of the Body in the 17th Century
29 rue d’Ulm, Salle 235C, 17.00-19.00
The 17th century was arguably the golden age of mechanistic anatomy. At the time mechanics was being transformed both conceptually and practically, with the introduction of new notions and devices. Whereas in antiquity the lever was the main mechanical device, by the 17th century pendulums, springs, hygrometers, thermometers, barometers, and air pumps emerged and often took center stage. My talk investigates how these and other devices transformed the understanding of the body and interacted with anatomical and more broadly naturalistic investigations. In other words, I try to argue that mechanistic anatomy was transformed conceptually and also because the park of mechanical tools and devices was in a state of profound transformations at the time.

Samedi 23 mai

Présentation de son ouvrage Mechanism, Experiment, Disease : Marcello Malpighi and Seventeenth-Century Anatomy, Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011
dans le cadre du 3e atelier franco-américain d’histoire de la philosophie moderne