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Pierre Jean George Cabanis

French physiologist. A precocious child, Cabanis was enrolled at the age of 10 in the College of Brives. Later studied in Paris, afterward traveled widely in Poland and Germany. In 1789 he was appointed administrator of hospitals for Paris, and in 1795 became professor of hygiene and history of medicine in the medical school of that city. In 1799 he was made professor of legal medicine and history of medicine. He was an intimate friend of Mirabeau, and attended him as physician in his last illness, He had a deep interest in medical and psychological problems. Active in the cause of the French Revolution, Cabanis was a member of the Council of Five Hundred. Though Napoleon Bonaparte repeatedly offered him governmental positions, Cabanis declined them, since he was a foe of the former's policies. Cabanis died at Meulan on May 5, 1808, principally honored for his contributions to medical science, and especially for his main work, Rapports du physique et du moral de l'homme, a series of papers read to the Institute in 1796-97. The sentence quoted is probably from Cabanis' book, written in 1802, translated into German, 2 vols., 1808, under the title, Verhaltnis der Seele zum Korper, Relationship of the Soul to the Body. The thought has also been paraphrased: "Just as the stomach and intestines receive food and digest it, so the brain receives impressions, digests them, and has as its organic secretion, thought."

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