Jean Fernel

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In existographies, Jean Fernel (485-397) (1497-1558 ACM) (IQ:180|#156) (ID:2.95|61) (PR:25,065|65AE / astronomer:191) (CR:23) (LH:5) (TL:28) was a French physician, astronomer, mathematician, and philosopher, noted for []


In 1542, Fernel, in his Universal Medicine, building on Aristotle and Avicenna, devoted the first seven book or chapters to "physiology", a term he coined, describing the different parts of the body and their uses, various elements and temperaments, spirits and internal heat, functions and moods, and finally generation.


Quotes | On

The following are quotes on Fernel:

“Our sixteenth-century Fernel viewed the body as a tenement for faculties. One faculty was that which actuated the various bodily movements. Then came Descartes with is robot [see: Cartesian automata], a mechanism actuating itself. Such too had been Descartes’ thought with respect to the motions of the macrocosm. For Kepler still, a century later than Fernel, each planet was ridden by an angel. Then later with the ‘reign of law’ that guidance became a ‘force’, e.g. gravitational. Today that ‘force’ has in turn disappeared. There remains a curvature of space. The human mind looking at nature has had to dehumanize its point of view—it has, using Samuel Alexander’s word, to ‘deanthropize’ itself. It has to dispense with ‘causation’, which is regarded as an anthropism, but is yet a final cause. It is more faithful to William of Occam. In the middle ages, and after them with Fernel, as with Aristotle before, there was the difficulty of the animate and the inanimate and finding of the boundary between them. Today’s scheme makes plain why that difficulty was, and dissolves it. There is no boundary.”
Charles Sherrington (1938), Man on His Nature (deanthropize, pg. 169; boundary, pg. 242) [1]

Quotes | By

The following are quotes by Fernel:

“The stone selenite holds the image of the moon even to her very phases. The magnet-stone points to the pole star. These are dead things, says Brutus, do living things likewise draw influences from the sky. Did not Aristotle well and truly say, and leave it written for all posterity, that: ‘Heat is the condition of life’?”
— Jean Fernel (1548), On the Hidden Causes of Things[2]

End matter


  1. Sherrington, Charles. (1940). Man on His Nature (deanthropize, pg. 169; boundary, pg. 242). CUP Archive.
  2. Fernel, Jean. (1548). On the Hidden Causes of Things (De Abditis Rerum Causis). Paris.


  • Fernel, Jean. (1542). The Physiologia of Jean Fernel (translator and editor: John Forrester). Publisher, 2003.
  • Fernel, Jean. (1548). Jean Fernel's on the Hidden Causes of Things: Forms, Souls, and Occult Diseases in Renaissance Medicine: Annotated Translation (editors: John Forrester, John Henry). Brill, 2004.

External links

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