Joseph Addison on Vivisection

Joseph Addison (1672-1719) by Godfrey Kneller

“A person who was well skilled in dissection opened a bitch, and as she lay in most exquisite tortures offered her one of her young puppies, which she immediately fell a-licking; and for the time seemed insensible to her own pain; on the removal she kept her eye fixed on it and began a wailing sort of cry which seemed to proceed rather from the loss of her young one than the sense of her own torment.”

3 thoughts on “Joseph Addison on Vivisection

    • Yes, this was in the period when legislation regarding cruelty to animals was restricted to the concept of it being wrong to harm another’s prooerty, be it a plough, a cart or a horse. And on a higher level the Cartesian idea of animals as mere automata not deserving of equal consideration.

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    • The disease was named after the mid-nineteenth century dermatologist Thomas Addison, no relation, a great figure at Guy’s Hospital. Born in humble circumstances and worked his way up to be a great pioneer in medicine.

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