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The Shocking History of Electric Fishes
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Table of Contents

Contents PART I: INTRODUCTION 1- The Allure of Electric Fishes: Humboldt's Obsession PART II: ANCIENT CULTURES 2- The Shocking Catfish of the Nile 3- Torpedoes in the Greco-Roman World: Pt. 1. Wonders of Nature Between Science and Myth 4- Torpedoes in the Greco-Roman World: Pt. 2. From Therapeutic Shocks to Theories of the Discharge 5- Byzantine and Islamic Writings PART III: MIDDLE AGES TO THE EARLY MODERN PERIOD 6- Torpedoes: From the Scholastics through the Renaissance 7- Rediscovering The Torporific Catfishes 8- The "Eels" of South America 9- From the Occult to Mechanical Theories of the Discharge PART IV: THE EMERGENCE OF FISH ELECTRICITY 10- The Electrical World of Benjamin Franklin 11- Animal Spirits and Physiology 12- First Steps Toward Fish Electricity 13- The Dutch, the Eel, and Electricity PART V: THE ROYAL SOCIETY AND THE COVETED SPARK 14- Edward Bancroft's Guiana Eels and London Connections 15- John Walsh's Scientific Journey 16- The Royal Society and Interdisciplinary Science 17- Out of the Guianas: The American Philosophical Society and the Eel 18- Alexander Garden: A Linnaean in South Carolina and Captain Banker's Eels 19- Sparks in Darkness and the Eel's Electrical Sense 20- Public Knowledge: Newspapers, Magazines, and "Shocking" Poetry PART VI: FROM FISH TO NERVE PHYSIOLOGY AND BACK 21- Galvani's Animal Electricity 22- Electric Fishes in Volta's Path to the Battery 23- Galvanism Contra "Voltaism": Electric Fishes and the "Unsolvable" Dilemma 24- Electric Fishes in the Nineteenth Century 25- The Changing Neurohysiological Setting 26- Understanding the Shock Mechanisms: A Twentieth Century Odyssey EPILOGUE APPENDIX I: Names with Birth and Death Dates REFERENCES

About the Author

Stanley Finger is Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology at Washington University, St. Louis, M0 Marco Piccolino is Professor of General Physiology and Lecturer in Science History, University of Ferrara, Italy.

Reviews

"...the exposition of the material is clear and straightforward... This detailed work will be most useful to professional scientists/historians in ichthyology, neurobiology, and the history of the medical sciences. Recommended." -- CHOICE "An amazing book for anyone who wants to embrace the sense of wonder that fills science. This book explores the three majorly electrical fish (electric eels, torpedoes, and electric catfish) from both a scientific and a humanistic standpoint... If you want to have a look at civilization through the eyes of science and fish, this is the book for you." -- Kathy Cowley, Brigham Young University

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