Andreas Vesalius, Nicolaus Copernicus, And Francis Bacon

2006 Words 9 Pages
Many analysts and historians claim that the current era is an era of science. Scientific innovation occurs at an almost startling pace and no ideas are safe from criticism. With this context in mind, it is sometimes hard to grasp the fact that until recently, human inspiration was not primarily derived from the possibilities of the future. Instead, it came from tradition. This article will review the works of Andreas Vesalius, Nicolaus Copernicus, and Francis Bacon to explain how their contributions to natural knowledge were influenced by the roles of tradition and innovation that existed within their respective time periods. (Need stronger thesis) It is the beginning of the renaissance, the “rebirth” of ancient learning. After the …show more content…
Andreas Vesalius was extremely critical of Galen, a famous Roman physician who wrote a number of books regarding human anatomy and medical producers. Andreas was also against the sector, demonstrator, and lector system which split the roles of dissection that had been used in dissections for centuries. However, Andreas’s criticisms of both Galen and the common procedures involved in dissection also lay in tradition. Andreas Vesalius was very critical of Galen because much of Galen’s work was either derived from dissecting non-human organisms like apes or gathering information from other surgeons. Vesalius attacked Galen by saying that “[Galen] himself had never cut open a human body and furthermore that, deceived by his apes[,] (...) [h]e frequently and quite wrongly finds fault with the ancient physicians (Vesalius, 4).” From this passage, it is evident that Andreas Vesalius has greater respect for physicians who gather information personally through dissection. Andreas Vesalius also wanted to combine the roles of the sector, demonstrator, and lector during dissections. He performed all the roles himself during his dissections, as evidenced by his work On the Fabric of the Human Body in which he states that “[he has] performed frequent dissections and (…), discarding the ridiculous system of the schools, [has] given both the dissection and accompanying commentary [himself] (Vesalius, 3).” It also shows how he considers the way the school performs dissections to be ridiculous. He criticized both Galen and the sector, demonstrator, and lector dissection method, because he was more convinced by the medical traditions of even physicians that came before Roman times. These ancient physicians often did all the steps of dissection themselves and worked with the human body. This is shown when Vesalius criticizes Galen for attacking ancient physicians by saying that “he frequently and quite wrongly finds

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