The Works of William Harvey

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The Works of William Harvey


William Harvey was a distinguished physician of the seventeenth century. Harvey was educated by some of the great scientists of his time and was highly knowledgeable of the scientist theories preceding his time. Harvey was greatly intrigued by the views of the ancient Aristotle and developed a number of his own ideas based on Aristotle’s theories. It was from Aristotle’s theory of the primacy of blood that allowed Harvey to make breakthroughs about circulation and generation of animals. His advancements greatly enhanced the study of anatomy. Harvey also revolutionized the means by which science was performed through the use of innovative, investigational techniques. William Harvey became a well-known name in science because he made profound accomplishments that changed the way scientists performed and the way people viewed the human body.

William Harvey was born on April 1, 1578, in Folkestone, England. At the age of sixteen, Harvey enrolled in Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge where he obtained a bachelor's degree in 1597. He went on to study medicine under Hieronymus Fabricius at the University of Padua in Italy. Fabricius was involved in the study of blood flow in the body, which motivated Harvey to research this branch as well. After moving to England, William Harvey was appointed as a personal physician to King Charles (Britannica). Within his study of blood, Harvey was able to form the theory of the circulation of blood through the body, which he published in ‘On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals', in 1628. The book brought Harvey fame and made him a respected name in science. During his experiments, William Harvey became skeptical of pr...

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- Gasking, Elizabeth. Investigations into Generation. Baltimore: The John Hopkins

Press, 1967.

- Lubitz, Steven. “Early Reactions to Harvey's Circulation Theory: The Impact on

Medicine.” Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine 71 Issue 4 (2004): 274.

- Pagel, Walter. “William Harvey and the Purpose of Circulation.” Iris 42 I (1951):


- Pinto-Correia, Clara. The Ovary of Eve: Egg and Sperm and Preformation. Chicago:

The University of Chicago Press, 1997.

- Short, R.V. “Where Do Babies Come From?” Nature 403 Issue 6771 (2000): 705.

- White, John. “William Harvey and the Primacy of Blood.” Annuals of Science 43 III

(1986): 273-255.

- Wilson, Leonard. “The Transformation of Ancient Concepts of Respiration in the

Seventeenth Century.” Iris 52 II (1960): 161-172.
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