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Luigi Galvani and the debate on animal electricity, 1791–1800

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Galvani's discovery provoked an animated debate that lasted for about a decade. So far, historians have studied only the controversy between Volta and Galvani. I show that a more extensive examination of the response to Galvani's treatise reveals a number of important issues that were characteristic of the contemporary physics and physiology but have not much attracted the attention of historians. In particular, the analysis shows the need to reappraise Galvani's role in establishing animal electricity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bakken Library of Electricity in Life, 3537 Zenith Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55416, U.S.A.

Publication date: 1987-03-01

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