Fiber, Medicine, and Culture in the British Enlightenment

  • Hisao Ishizuka

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Prelude to the Fiber Body in the Latter Half of the Seventeenth Century, c.1650–1700

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
  3. The Fiber Body in Eighteenth-Century Medicine

  4. Fiber and Culture

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 241-276

About this book


This book provides a full account of the concept of fiber and fiber theory in eighteenth-century British medicine. It explores the pivotal role fiber played as a defining, underlying concept in anatomy, physiology, pathology, therapeutics, psychology, and the life sciences. With the gradual demise of ancient humoralism, the solid fibers appeared on the medical scene both as the basic building unit of the body and as a dynamic agent of life. As such, fiber stands at the heart of eighteenth-century medicine, both iatromechanism and iatro-vitalism. Touching on the cultural aspects of fiber, the Baroque, and the culture of sensibility, this book also challenges the widely held assumption that the eighteenth century was the age of the nerve and instead offers an alternative model of fiber.


Prelude to the Fiber Body Visualizing the Fiber-Woven Body Elasticity of Animal Fiber Motion, Tone and Life of the Fiber Body The Fiber Body and the Baroque The Fiber Body and the Culture of Sensibility Nerves and Fiber Iatromechanism iatro-vitalism medical history

Authors and affiliations

  • Hisao Ishizuka
    • 1
  1. 1.Senshu University Japan Kawasaki shi, Tama-KuJapan

Bibliographic information