Observations upon experimental philosophy to which is added The description of a new blazing world
Newcastle, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of, 1624?-1674.

18. Of Anatomy.

I Am not of the opinion of those, who believe that Anatomifts could gain much more by dissecting of li∣ving then of dead bodies, by reason the corporeal figu∣rative motions that maintain life, and nourish every part of the body, are not at all perceptible by the exte∣rior Optick sense, unless it be more perceiving and sub∣tiler Page  54 then the humane optick sense is; for although the exterior grosser parts be visible, yet the interior corpo∣real motions in those parts are not visible; wherefore the dissecting of a living Creature can no more inform one of the natural motions of that figure, then one can by the observing of an egg, be it never so exact, per∣ceive the corporeal figurative motions that produce or make the figure of a Chicken: Neither can artificial optick glasses give any advantage to it; for Nature is so subtil, obscure and various, as not any sort or kind of Creatures can trace or know her ways: I will not say, but her parts may in their several Perceptions know as much as can be known; for some parts may know and be known of others, and so the infinite body may have an infinite information and knowledg; but no particular Creature, no not one kind or sort of Creatures can have a perfect knowledg of another particular Creature; but it must content it self with an imperfect knowledg, which is a knowledg in Parts. Wherefore it is as im∣probable for humane sight to perceive the interior cor∣poreal figurative motions of the parts of an animal body by Anatomy, as it is for a Micrographer to know the interior parts of a figure by viewing the exterior; for there are numerous corporeal figures or figurative mo∣tions of one particular Creature, which lie one with∣in another, and most commonly the interior are quite different from the exterior; as for example, the out∣ward parts of a mans body are not like his inward Page  55 parts; for his brain, stomack, liver, lungs, splene, midriff, heart, guts, &c. are of different figures, and one part is not another part, no not of the like nature or constitution; neither hath a man a face on the inside of his head, and so of the rest of his parts; for every part has besides its exterior, interior figure and motions, which are not perceptible by our exterior senses. Ne∣vertheless there is some remedy to supply this sensitive ignorance by the perception of Reason; for where sense fails, reason many times informs, it being a more clear and subtile perception then sense is; I say many times, because reason can neither be always assured of know∣ing the Truth; for particular Reason may sometimes be deceived as well as sense; but when the Perceptions both of sense and reason agree, then the information is more true, I mean regular sense and reason, not irregu∣lar, which causes mistakes, and gives false informations; also the Presentation of the objects ought to be true, and without delusion.