Essay about The Works of William Harvey

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The Works of William Harvey


William Harvey was a distinguished physician of the seventeenth century. Harvey was educated by some of the great scientists of his time and was highly knowledgeable of the scientist theories preceding his time. Harvey was greatly intrigued by the views of the ancient Aristotle and developed a number of his own ideas based on Aristotle’s theories. It was from Aristotle’s theory of the primacy of blood that allowed Harvey to make breakthroughs about circulation and generation of animals. His advancements greatly enhanced the study of anatomy. Harvey also revolutionized the means by which science was performed through the use of innovative, investigational techniques. William Harvey became a
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This disproved the common view of preformation (Pagel 33). He published his final writings in the “Essays on the Generation of Animals.” After a productive and eventful life, William Harvey died in London on June 3, 1657.

Through his investigation founded on beliefs of Aristotle, William Harvey was able to hypothesize on the movement of blood in the body. Prior to William Harvey’s research , the medical view of blood in the body came from a Greek doctor by the name of Galen. Galen explained the flow of blood as a to-and-fro movement being pumped by the veins and arteries themselves. Galen also believed that blood was made and then used up in the body. His conclusions were drawn mainly from outer appearances (Bayon 444). This made Harvey’s work more accurate because he performed specific experiments and calculations. One reason Harvey was able to determine the movement of blood through the body was founded in Aristotle’s belief of the perfection of circular motion because it is continuous path (Pagel 28). William Harvey combined this idea with Arsitotle’s view of the power of the heart to act independently of the brain. From these notions, Harvey created the theory of a constant circulation of blood throughout the body by the pumping of the heart. He began researching his hypothesis with a hen’s egg. He discovered that the first drops of blood in the hen’s egg eventually gave
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