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Divine MachinesLeibniz and the Sciences of Life$
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Justin E. H. Smith

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691141787

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691141787.001.0001

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The “Hydraulico-Pneumatico-Pyrotechnical Machine of Quasi-Perpetual Motion”

The “Hydraulico-Pneumatico-Pyrotechnical Machine of Quasi-Perpetual Motion”

Leibniz on Animal Economy

(p.59) Chapter Two The “Hydraulico-Pneumatico-Pyrotechnical Machine of Quasi-Perpetual Motion”
Divine Machines

Justin E. H. Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on Leibniz's contribution to “animal economy.” It discusses two distinct periods of Leibniz's direct, active contribution to animal economy: first, the period extending from 1677 to roughly 1683, in which he wrote a series of very detailed studies of the nature of animal motion and “vegetation”; and the second, from 1709 to 1710, when he engages in debate with Georg Ernst Stahl, returning to many of the ideas developed in the first period, while superimposing upon these the sophisticated metaphysics and the organic model of body that had been developed in the intervening years. In between these two periods, Leibniz developed his theory of organics, focusing on the microstructure and infinitely complex organization of living bodies.

Keywords:   G. W. Leibniz, animal economy, organs, anatomy, physiology, animal motion, Georg Ernst Stahl

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