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What Is Medicine?Western and Eastern Approaches to Healing$
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Paul Unschuld

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257658

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257658.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Long Live the Periphery!

Long Live the Periphery!

(p.163) 69 Long Live the Periphery!
What Is Medicine?

Paul U. Unschuld

University of California Press

Marie Francois Xavier Bichat (1771–1802) focused on the role of the heart. Bichat urges us not to consider this organ, the only driving force ruling the movement in the large and small vessels that causes inflammation in them. The entire teaching of the mechanists rested, it is known, on the extreme range that they allowed the heart for its movements. The model image that Descartes had seen just 150 years earlier no longer possessed any validity for Bichat. Bichat also focused on the reality of blood circulation and announced that there was absolutely no reason to attribute a central role to the heart as Descartes had done. The German patriots instantly agreed to this announcement. Later on, Carl Heinrich Schultz (1798–1871) announced that the “peripheral system” is responsible for the entire circulation. This is where the blood is pulled up and sent back to the heart.

Keywords:   blood circulation, role of heart, peripheral system, physiological treatises, Berlin Empire

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