Cover Contents Preface 1. Ancient Greece and Rome The Facts The Birth of Biology Overview of Ancient Greek and Roman Biological Sciences Hippocratic Medicine Aristotle Galen's Physiology Pliny the Elder's Natural History The Atomists Historical Overview The Role of Experimentation in Greek Science and Particularly in Life Sciences Anaximander and the Atomists: The Futile Search for Pioneers Contemporary Relevance Mechanistic and Molecular Explanations The Role of Analogy The Beginnings of the Chain of Being Pliny's Legacy Ever-Present Finalism 2. The Middle Ages and Arab-Muslim Science The Facts The Arab-Muslim World The Middle Ages in the West Historical Overview Contemporary Relevance Scientific Progress Is Not a Given Less Obvious Contributions to the Development of Science 3. The Renaissance (Sixteenth Century) The Facts Progress in Anatomy and Depictions of the Human Body Books on Natural History Alchemy in Medicine: From Paracelsus to Van Helmont Historical Overview A Fascination with Dissections The Role of Alchemy Changes in the Social Structure of Science Contemporary Relevance Finding the Right Distance from the Past New Techniques Bring New Sources of Error Aging as a Form of Poisoning 4. The Age of Classicism (Seventeenth Century) The Facts The Discovery of Circulation The Development of Quantitative Experiments The Invention of the Microscope and Its Consequences Historical Overview The Not-So-Obvious Case of Circulation The Mechanistic Model of Life and Its Limitations The Incomprehensible Theory of Preformationism Invisible and Indirect Changes Contemporary Relevance The Machines in Front of Us Vestiges of Preformation Theory Accepting the Plurality of Approaches in Biology Translational Medicine Is Not New 5. The Enlightenment (Eighteenth Century) The Facts Vitalism Classification: Linnaeus versus Buffon Reproductive Physiology The Role of Breathing Becomes Clear Historical Overview Variations on Vitalism Classification versus Evolution Classifying Humans Priestley and Lavoisier: Only the First Step Contemporary Relevance A Natural Classification? Comparing Plants and Animals Maupertuis, the Father of Self-Organization? 6. The Nineteenth Century (Part I): Embryology, Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Physiology The Facts Embryology Becomes an Established Discipline The Emergence of Cell Theory The Rise of Germ Theory Physiology's Golden Age Historical Overview The Roots of Cell Theory Scholars Trapped by Their Own Philosophical Ideas? The Tension between Chemical Explanations and Structural Models Was Embryology Holding Out for Evolution? 1859: A Remarkable Year Contemporary Relevance The Disappearance of Traditional Disciplines in Biology
Translated from French into English. Originally published in French as Une histoire de la biologie by Éditions du Seuil, 2016. Includes bibliographical references and index. Electronic reproduction. New York Available via World Wide Web. Description based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on June 10, 2021).