The Changing Nature of the Cadaver

  • Brent Dean Robbins


By restricting dissection to unknown and stigmatized individuals, dissection in fourteenth-century medical schools lent themselves to a defensive style of psychological distancing from the memorial body of the cadaver. Vesalius exploited the new linear perspective technique in art for his illustrations as a means to enhance an attitude of detached concern in relation to his anatomical specimens. Historical evidence linking Vesalius to Galileo through mutual influences at University of Padua strongly suggests Vesalius’ attitude of detached concern informed and shaped the epistemological orientation of the new physics of Galileo. This epistemological attitude was also informed by the nascent Neoplatonism emerging in the elite circles of learned men in Northern Italy, especially through the influence of Toscanelli.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyPoint Park UniversityPittsburghUSA

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