View Full Version : Origin of biomechanics

Volker Schlegel
02-13-1997, 12:26 AM
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Dr.-Ing. Volker Schlegel
Technische Universitaet Hamburg-Harburg Tel: ++49 (0)40 - 77 18 - 27
Meerestechnik II / Strukturmechanik Sec - 32
Eissendorfer Str. 42 FAX - 20
D-21071 Hamburg
FR Germany
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Dear all:

In his e-mail of Fri, 22 Nov 1996 Allard Paul mentioned the article
"Biomechanische Grundfragen" [lit. biomechanical fundamental questions]
by Dr. Moriz Benedikt, an Austrian professor from Vienna.
I happened to get a copy of this article, which was published
in the 'Archiv f. Entwicklungmechanik XXXI, 1991' [archive for the
mechanics of development {of live?}].

In the first sentence of his article Benedikt claims to have coined
the term and the word 'Biomechanik' at a lecture he gave to the
Wiesbaden (town in Germany) society of natural scientists for the first
time in 1887. In the paper he deals, as I understand it, with the
relation between biology and physics where mechanics is 'pars pro toto'.
He himself states that the main purpose of his article is to promote
the (new) idea of 'Das biomechanische (neovitalistische) Denken in
der Medizin und der Biologie' (Jena, Fischer,1903) [lit. the
biomechanical (neo-vitalistic) way of thinking in medicine and biology].

Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the correct and proper English terms
when it comes to translate more or less philosophical discussions in
natural sciences. May be, it is due to the fact that natural scientists
and engineers like me don't get a Philosophiae Doctor anymore in Germany,
but just a simple and plain Dr. ?

As long as the postmaster of our university does not interfere I can send
copies of the article to anyone interested in the topic.


Volker Schlegel