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William Harvey

(1578—1657) physician and discoverer of the circulation of the blood


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(1578–1657),

practised medicine in London and became influential in the College of Physicians. Harvey's discovery of the circulation of blood was announced in De motu cordis (1628; English trans. 1653). He then worked on a major embryological treatise which was left incomplete. Despite its innovatory nature, Harvey's work was rapidly accepted by the medical establishment. Metaphysical poets such as H. Vaughan and Henry More made use of the imagery of Harveian circulation.

Subjects: Philosophy


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