History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, 2017, Vol.39(2), pp.1-24
Artificial insemination and other fertilization techniques are today considered central to the history of reproductive medicine. The medical treatment of infertile couples, however, constitutes just a small part of the whole story of artificial fertilization. Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729–1799) in particular, said to have been the inventor of artificial insemination, did not develop this method for medical purposes. He belonged to a generation of naturalists to whom artificial insemination was part of a heterogeneous series of investigations that were undertaken to explore the natural history of animal generation . Questions concerning conception, the role of the gametes, the definition of species, the production of hybrids or livestock breeding were all included in these investigations. Thus, no one strain of thought, nor single set of ideas or interests, entirely shaped the development of artificial fertilization.
Experimental natural philosophy ; Preformation theories ; Hybridization experiments ; Animal breeding ; Hereditary research
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