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Origin of biomechanics

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  • Origin of biomechanics

    ************************************************** ***********************
    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
    ************************************************** ***********************

    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