Publisher Information: Paris: Richard, Caille, Ravier, 1800. 8vo. 326pp. Quarter calf gilt, paste paper boards, vellum corners, hinges a little tender. Faint dampstains on first 20 or so leaves, otherwise a clean, crisp copy. Book Id: 39778
First Edition. Garrison-Morton 537. The foundation of histology and tissue pathology. Bichat's most important contribution to anatomy was his generalization of Pinel's theory, expressed in Nosographie philosophique (1798), that pathology must be based upon the structure of the tissues of which bodily organs are composed, regardless of where in the body they occur. Bichat distinguished twenty-one different types of tissue, which he classified according to texture and to properties: extensibility, contractility, and the vital properties-- organic contractility and sensibility ("insensible" or "subliminal") on the one hand, and animal contractility and sensibility ("sensible" or "conscious") on the other. Each tissue differed in its diseases, as diseases were nothing more than alterations in the tissue's vital properties. Claude Bernard said of Bichat that he "decentralized life and incarnated it in the tissues" (quoted in Hall II, p. 129), and that his ideas were the source of modern opinions concerning vital phenomena. Heirs of Hippocrates 1256. Norman 230.