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Justification of Anatomical Practice in Jessenius’s Prague Anatomy

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The physician and philosopher Johannes Jessenius (1565-1621), an enthusiastic anatomist in Wittenberg, often had to defend his anatomical practices against Lutheran orthodoxy, as is apparent from the invitations he wrote concerning his dissections. His most systematic defence can be found in the introduction to his description of the dissection performed in Prague in 1600, where he provides three different strategies for the justification of anatomical research. The first method traditionally builds on the use of the ancient dictum ‘know thyself;’ the second strategy is based on teleology, which Jessenius adopted from Vesalius’ work; and the final method is derived from the philosophical tradition of the Renaissance. Jessenius makes use of the concept of the dignity of man in order to support the dignity of anatomical practice. The fundamental meaning of the philosophical framework of Jessenius’s approach emerges from the comparison with both Andreas Vesalius, whose Fabric was one model for Jessenius’s anatomical work, and with the speech delivered by Adamus Zaluzanius a Zaluzaniis prior to Jessenius’s Prague anatomical performance.


Affiliations: 1: Palacky University Olomouc
 tomas.nejeschleba@upol.cz


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/content/journals/10.1163/15733823-00216p04
2016-01-25
2018-09-22

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