Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Essaying the Mechanical Hypothesis: Descartes, La Forge, and Malebranche on the Formation of Birthmarks

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Early Science and Medicine

This essay examines the determination by Cartesians to explain the maternal imagination's alleged role in the formation of birthmarks and the changing notion of monstrosity. Cartesians saw the formation of birthmarks as a challenge through which to demonstrate the heuristic capacity of mechanism. Descartes claimed to be able to explain the transmission of a perception from the mother's imagination to the fetus' skin without having recourse to the little pictures postulated by his contemporaries. La Forge offered a detailed account stating that the failure to explain the maternal imagination's impressions would cast doubt on mechanism. Whereas both characterized the birthmark as a deformation or monstrosity in miniature, Malebranche attributed a role to the maternal imagination in fashioning family likenesses. However, he also charged the mother's imagination with the transmission of original sin.

Affiliations: 1: Languages & Literatures Department, Hauge Administration Building, Room 220L, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA 98447, USA;, Email: wilkinrm@plu.edu

Loading

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/157338208x362688
Loading

Data & Media loading...

http://brill.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1163/157338208x362688
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/157338208x362688
2008-10-01
2016-12-05

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    Early Science and Medicine — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation