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Studies on Animals and the Rise of Comparative Anatomy at and around the Parisian Royal Academy of Sciences in the Eighteenth Century

  • Stéphane Schmitt (a1)

Argument

This paper aims to understand the emergence of comparative anatomy in the eighteenth century in the Parisian Académie Royale des Sciences. As early as the 1670s, a program centered on animal anatomy was conceived, which was a first attempt to give some autonomy to studies on animals and to link anatomy with natural history, but it declined after 1690. However, a variety of studies on animals was published in the Mémoires of the Académie during the eighteenth century. We propose a descriptive typology of them in order to explore the status of animals and the significance of anatomy in each type, and to determine, in particular, which elements of Perrault's program were passed on at the Académie throughout the century. We discuss the influence of this legacy on the development of comparative anatomy after 1750, especially in Daubenton's work.

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References

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