Greek underpinnings to his methodology in unraveling De Motu Cordis and what Harvey has to teach us still today.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

William Harvey's writings betray amazing insights born out of countless hours of thoughtful experimentation. Throughout his life, Harvey worked as a tireless and thoughtful researcher and a transmitter and intermediary between the ancient Greek natural philosophers and physicians and the "moderns," for whom he founded two forward-looking, interlinked sciences: modern physiology and nascent cardiology. Harvey's methodology and demonstrations were of such fundamental and standardizing nature as to secure the sure progress of these two sciences. Thus, he rendered to them such a service as Descartes's cogito ergo sum furnished to Philosophy in giving it a rational standard of certainty, for want of which the more speculative minds of that era were inundated with extraordinary conjectures. If Harvey disproved Galen, he absorbed and continued in his physiologic research many a principle from Aristotle, whose supreme disciple he remains. The guidance and authority of Aristotle were strong with him to the end. Harvey's account of the motions of the heart and blood in the circulation demonstrated that complex physiological systems can be represented in straightforward mechanical terms, a concept which has remained fundamental to the present day. The philosophical implication of William Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood was the resolute application of the experimental method to cardiology. In my judgment, he established today's forward-looking discipline of translational cardiovascular research. In due course, he should be widely acknowledged to have done so.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pasipoularides, A

Published Date

  • October 9, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 168 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 3173 - 3182

PubMed ID

  • 23972367

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1874-1754

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ijcard.2013.07.253


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands