Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Generation and Embryology in Renaissance Science

  • Hiro HiraiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_397-1


Embryology is a study of generation in both plants and animals. The generation of living beings was one of the most central and difficult problems for natural philosophers in the Renaissance. The complex structure of living bodies and their functions had to be explained from the first stage of their formation. This was the quintessential aspect of embryology. Many factors involved in the phenomenon were invisible and imperceptible to human senses, while the traditional explanatory tools of philosophy and medicine, whether Aristotelian or Galenic, did not provide a satisfying answer. The problem forced physician-philosophers to scrutinize the newly rediscovered texts of the ancients and even craft ideas and concepts not employed elsewhere.

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Primary Literature

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for the History of Philosophy and ScienceRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marco Sgarbi
    • 1
  1. 1.University Ca' Foscari VeniceVeniceItaly