In this paper I shall point out that Francis Glisson's conceptualisation of irritability must be understood by looking at the epistemological context within which it developed. The theory of irritability has to be interpreted as part of an 'analogical conception' that puts the analytical operations of mind in relation to the epistemic model provided by dissection. Establishing this relation makes it possible for Glisson to think the activity of the organs as 'empirical epistemic operations'.
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