Bichat, Marie François Xavier

Bichat, Marie François Xavier

(märē` fräNswä` zävyā` bēshä`), 1771–1802, French anatomist and physiologist. He studied the tissues, giving them that name and classifying them into 21 types; this work was the basis of modern histology. He wrote Traité des membranes (1800), Recherches physiologiques sur la vie et sur la mort (1800), Traité d'anatomie descriptive (1801–3, in 5 vol.), and Anatomie générale (1801).

Bichat, Marie François Xavier


Born Nov. 14, 1771, in Thoirette; died July 22, 1802, in Paris. French anatomist, physiologist, and physician.

Bichat studied at Montpellier, Lyon, and Paris. He worked as a physician in a Paris hospital from 1799 to the end of his life. Bichat created a scientific classification of tissues, which, according to his theory, unite into systems (for example, bones and muscles) and form organs of the body. The terms “tissue” and “system” were first introduced into medicine by Bichat. According to Bichat, the totality of systems and their elementary functions constitute the life processes of the body. In his Weltanschauung, Bichat was an idealist who believed in the presence of a life-force which is unknowable and distinguishes the animate from the vegetable and inanimate.


In Russian translation:
Fiziologicheskie issledovaniia o zhizni i smerti. St. Petersburg, 1865.


Lunkevich, V. V. Ot Geraklita do Darvina, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
Olmsted, J. Franqois Magendie. New York, 1945.