The machine of the human body and the vital functions according to Haller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The author begins with Haller’s peculiar scientific style,
which combines experimental procedures with a prodigious erudite apparatus and an exquisite argumentation. Haller assumes that the physiology occupies a central place within natural philosophy, following the fibrilistic current inaugurated by G.
Baglivi. Indeed, for Haller, the fiber is the beginning
element of the new physiology. According to the dominant view of his time, Haller regards the human
body as a natural machine, more perfect than the
artificial machines. Such machine operates spontaneously by means of two basic functions: sensibility and irritability. Taking the phenomenon of
vision as an example, the author argues that Haller’s
physiology displays an anthropology articulating the physical and the psychical level in an extremely complex way.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Nature.
Subtitle of host publicationAnima, mente e corpo dall’antichità alle neuroscienze
EditorsNunzio Allocca
Place of PublicationRoma
PublisherEditrice Universitá La Sapienza
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)978-88-9377-062-0
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Haller
  • fibrilism
  • human machine
  • irritability
  • sensibility


Dive into the research topics of 'The machine of the human body and the vital functions according to Haller'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this