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Auguste Comte et la physiologie cérébrale de son temps

Abstract : This paper aims to analyse the contribution of Auguste Comte to brain physiology, the scientific foundations of his ideas and his relationship with the biologists who had the greatest influence on his work. Comtian physiology was characterized by its proximity to the physiological ideas of such anatomists as François-Xavier Bichat, Georges Cuvier, Franz Joseph Gall and Henri-Marie Ducrotay de Blainville. Comte’s criticisms of experimental physiology and his adoption of phrenology are analysed in the broader context of the physiological research of his time. It appears that Comte underestimated the rational dimension and the potential utility of vivisection as a research method.Nevertheless, experimental physiologists praised his work in the 1830s, until the rise of a coherent attack over the doctrine of phrenology, and the decisive divorce between Comtian phrenology and the new physiology of the brain emerging from the convergence of vivisection, anatomy and anatomopathology in the context of the theory of brain localisations.
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Contributor : Jean-Gaël Barbara <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 29, 2020 - 7:28:33 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 8, 2021 - 3:27:29 AM


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Jean-Gaël Barbara. Auguste Comte et la physiologie cérébrale de son temps. Revue d'Histoire des Sciences, Armand Colin 2012. ⟨halshs-03090606⟩



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