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Macrocosm, Microcosm and the Circulation of the Blood: Bruno and Harvey

Gregory, Andrew; (2016) Macrocosm, Microcosm and the Circulation of the Blood: Bruno and Harvey. In: Gatti, Hillary, (ed.) Giordano Bruno: Philosopher of the Renaissance. (pp. 365-381). Routledge: London UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Giordano Bruno consistently asserted that the blood flows rapidly in a circle. Being generous to Bruno, we might see these remarks as the first clear statement of the rapid circulation of the blood. As Bruno made them well before the work of Harvey, we might give him at least some of the credit for the discovery of the circulation. However, being less generous to Bruno, we might see his comments as nothing more than speculation employing a macrocosm-microcosm analogy, with little to do with Harvey’s scientific discovery. As we shall see, matters are not as clear cut as these positions might suggest, and the aim of this chapter is to steer a course between these two extremes. One thing Bruno and Harvey have in common is a strong reliance on a macrocosm-microcosm analogy between the human body and the earth’s weather cycle to support their views on the circulation.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Macrocosm, Microcosm and the Circulation of the Blood: Bruno and Harvey
ISBN-13: 9781315254302
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315254302
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1458888
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