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    Walter Charleton. Enquiries into Human Nature, In VI Anatomic Praelections In The New Theatre of the Royal Colledge of Physicians in London. London: M. White for Robert Butler, 1680. Krown & Spellman retail: $1200. First Edition. 4to. Π 2, a4, B-3Z4. [42], 149, [1], 369-544, [4] p. Lacks portrait, engraving of the "Theatrum Cutlerianum"; text engravings. Contemporary calf, worn, covers detached; ex Trinity College Dublin with duplicate stamp; license leaf loose; dampstaining, thumbsoiling, and toning on pages; ink stain on fore-edge; head edge darkened; rfep detached; a-a4 separating. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.

    More Information:

    Charleton, Walter (1620-1707), physician and natural philosopher.

    "In 1659 Charleton published a mechanistic account of physiology in Latin (Oeconomia animalis) and English (Natural History of Nutrition, Life, and Voluntary Motion), which included the suggestion that there was no increase in volume when a muscle contracted. Charleton was here rejecting the Cartesian account which attributed muscle shortening to its inflation by animal spirit. Charleton's assessment was confirmed experimentally by Jonathan Goddard in 1669. From now on all of Charleton's publications in natural philosophy, with one or two slight exceptions, were concerned with human or animal anatomy, human physiology, pathology, or the nature of the 'passions' and other mental phenomena attributed to the supposedly material animal soul... Charleton became one of the seventy-four honorary fellows of the College of Physicians in December 1664, when Sir Edward Alston (1597-1669) introduced this new category of membership in order to raise money for the college; but he had to wait until 1676 to gain a full fellowship with all privileges. After this, however, he became a prominent member of the college. As its anatomy reader in 1679, he delivered the first lecture from the college's new theatre in Warwick Lane." [ODNB]

    "The lectures which constituted the basis of Enquiries into Human Nature... were delivered in March 1679. They examined the traditional vital functions in anatomical terms (nutrition, life and voluntary motion), with additional lectures on fevers and anatomy of the stomach... Enquiries demonstrated Charleton's fluid movement between different approaches and methods of investigation. One striking aspect of Charleton's lectures is the range of epistomolgies that he invoked: experimental, metaphysical (Platonic) and textual..." [Emily Booth, The Medical World of Walter Charleton, 2005]

    Although the work was intended to include six praelections, only the following were published: I. Of nutrition; IV. Of life; V. Of fevers; VI. Of motion voluntary. Wing C3678. ESTC r15713. Osler 2296. Wellcome II, 329. Krivatsy/NLM 2390.      

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    30th Thursday
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