Medicine and new technologies
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This theory, one of the most simple that can be imagined, is regarded as being anterior to Hippocrates. It is predominant in two treatises, viz., those on the Regions in Man, and on the Glands. A few extracts from these two books will give us a sufficient idea of the doctrine.
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We have seen, in the preceding chapter, synthesis pushed to its utmost limit, and all the phenomena of the animal economy assimilated to each other, and united by the bond of a common cause, notwithstanding their infinite variety and enormous differences. But in order to arrive at that, to perceive in the formation of man, in the development of his parts and the exercise of his faculties, only the various modifications of one single agent, such as air or fire, it was necessary to clothe this material agent with imaginary faculties - to suppose it possessed of instinct,
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The liver is the largest gland of the human body.It has the shape of a flattened ellipsoid, passes almost transversely across the upper portion of the abdominal cavity, and is composed of two lobes, a much larger right lobe and a smaller left one. It is soft in consistence and has a peculiar brownish-red color.
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The digestive apparatus includes the actual intestinal tract, taking those words in their widest sense, and according to its development this tract may be divided into four portions: The oral cavity; the foregut; the midgut; the hindgut.
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After the theory of coction and crisis, that which prevails the most in the Hippocratic books, is the doctrine of the four elements, or the four elementary qualities, heat, cold, dryness and moisture, and the four cardinal humors, blood, bile, atrabile and phlegm. This doctrine was supposed to be an invention of the father of Greek medicine. Such is the opinion of all the commentators and historiographers, among others Galen, who extended and perfected it in his manner, and it reigned, exclusively, after him. The theory of four elements and four humors, harmonizes very well with