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The acceptance of irritability as a general property of life was especially beneficial. Glisson, in all parts of the animal, took on the property of living parts to contract or relax under the influence of stimuli and called this property irritability.

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Bourghava's disciple, Gorter, found this feature in all living things, even in animals, and distinguished it from the soul and nervous fluid or spirits. Albert Haller studied more precisely the laws of irritability and its correlation with other forces of the organism. His bibliographic writings represent veritable miracles of reading; in them he sets out the works of his predecessors and contemporaries with remarkable accuracy and impartiality. Haller distributed tissues and organs according to the degree of sensitivity and irritability, recognized the independence of both properties; he attributed sensitivity to the differences in nerves, and he separated irritability from elasticity. His experiments were repeated, and the doctrine of irritability became the starting point for new views. Howbius put irritability at the basis of all pathology, which he explained various diseases.

Cullen tries to combine the teachings of Hoffmann with the views of Haller: most diseases depend on nervous disorders that cause spasm or relaxation; but the nervous activity is due to the circulation of the blood, which irritates the nerves. His student, Brown, simplified all pathology and treatment to the extreme. His highly one-sided theory was met with sympathy at first in Germany and America, but in fact proved harmful and was soon abandoned.

Along with the desire for broad generalizations, theories and systems in the XVII and especially in the XVIII century.