Who is Claude Bernard?June 25, 2021
Claude Bernard, French physiologist.
(Rhöne 1813-Paris 1878)
He is from a middle class family. Before starting his medical studies, he worked in a pharmacy in Lyon. In 1841 he became a laboratory examiner at the College de France at Magendie, and in 1843 he became a doctor of medicine. It won the aggregation test in 1844. Elected to the academy of Sciences in 1854; in the same year he was appointed to the chair of experimental physiology reestablished for him at the Sorbonne.
In 1855 he became professor of experimental medicine at the College de France, replacing Magendie. Physiology; science that studies the vital functions of living things and the functioning of their systems; It investigates the mechanisms of life and living, in the smallest details, by going down to the essence of the events that take place in the human body or living things. For this reason, there are bacterial physiology, cell physiology, human physiology and many more branches of physiology.
In 1868 he was appointed professor of comparative physiology at the Museum and elected to the Academie Française. He became a senator in 1869. Claude Bernard first discussed the chemical phenomena of digestion, in particular the digestion of cane sugar with reversible yeasts and of pancreatic juice and fatty substances. As a result of these studies, he found the function of the liver to store sugar and put forward the theory of diabetes, which had a great impact.
In 1853, he won the third prize in physiology of the French Academy of Sciences for his work on the greater sympathetic nervous system and for his discovery of nerves that dilate and contract blood vessels, and arrestor or inhibitory nerves.
At the same time, he sought to expand the field of observation of physiology with his excellent research on poisons and anesthetics. He greatly influenced the students gathered around him with his thinking and research method. Dastre, P. Bert, Grehant, A. Moreau, Ranvier etc. Like the disciples, they spread his ideas and methods. His method does not derive its value from mere observation, experiments on living animals, and rigorous empirical criticism.
One of the great features of this method is the role given to the hypothesis, that is, to the mortgage; The assumption should not interfere during the experiment in such a way as to affect the experimenter, but should be used to connect events, guide research, and consolidate results. Despite the fact that his experimental method based on determinism has a definite and concrete feature, Claude Bernard, in terms of general philosophy, is connected to the positivist current of the time, which denies the possibility of reaching absolute truths.
On this subject he says: “The empiricist goes from partial truths to general truths, but he can never claim to have attained the absolute truth. As soon as we arrive at the absolute truth in any matter, there is no reason for us to arrive at other matters. For the absolute leaves nothing outside of itself.” According to Claude Bernard, who remains a spiritualist in this respect, we can only know the cause of events: their why is beyond our grasp.