Unacknowledged contributions of Pavlov and Barcroft to Cannon's theory of homeostasis
Cannon's theory of homeostasis is the first, major, American contribution to physiological thought. Although it is clear that Cannon's account of homeostasis is personal and based primarily on the work of his laboratory, Cannon made it easy for readers to mistake his 1929 paper and 1932 book for a comprehensive review of the literature relevant to homeostasis. This is unfortunate because Cannon never acknowledged the important contributions of two of his contemporaries, Ivan Pavlov and Joseph Barcroft. Since he did not mention them, their contributions are rarely discussed. This paper attempts to correct this historical problem in two ways. First, I describe the unacknowledged contributions of Pavlov and Barcroft. Then I consider the possible reasons why Cannon ignored them.
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