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Anatomy and the Body in Renaissance Protestant Psychology

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This article addresses the use of anatomical knowledge in Renaissance works on the soul produced at northern European universities, as well as the notions of ‘body’ and ‘soul’ that emerge from them. It examines specifically Philip Melanchthon’s and Rudolph Snell van Royen’s treatises on the soul. This analysis shows that a number of Protestant professors of arts and medicine generally considered the anatomical study of the body – which they conceived of as a teleologically organised machina (machine) – to be instrumental in studying the human soul. This article will, however, also document that the reasons motivating this conception were not uniform.

Affiliations: 1: Radboud University Nijmegen


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