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Lijec Vjesn. 2009 Jan-Feb;131(1-2):34-9; discussion 40-1.

[Re-evaluation of the epistemic foundation of Baglivi's medical doctrine and his anatomico-physiological theory].

[Article in Croatian]

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Hrvatska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti, Zavod za povijest i filozofiju znanosti.


Gjuro Baglivi (1668-1707) is a Croatian medical doctor and natural philosopher who realised a relevant scientific career and an European fame during the time of scientific revolution, having worked in Rome as an associate and personal secretary of M. Malpighi, as a personal doctor of two popes and teaching medicine at the Sapienza University. Baglivi's life and works have been investigated thoroughly due to their historical and medical history aspects but his other scientific and philosophical views were touched upon only in principle. From the history and philosophy of science perspective I investigated the epistemic foundations of Baglivi's medical praxis and his anatomico-physiological theory as they were the results not only of his medical knowledge, medical practice and anatomical observations but they emerged from Baglivi's conceptualization of structure and function of human body in the context of natural history and, respectively, natural philosophy of that time. Baglivi wanted to establish medicine on experimental and empirical foundations and to point to the object and the purpose of medical study--the human body. By doing this, and despite being a proponent of iatrophysics, Baglivi clearly separated medicine from physical and mathematical sciences which flourished in the 16th and 17th century. As they were derivated with great cautiousness in philosophysing from his empirical observations and experiments, even in the faulty explanations Baglivi's conceptions hide an analyticaly correct cognitive flair.

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