Galileo (1564–1642) proposed that the planets acted as inanimate bodies, moving mechanically. A contemporary, William Harvey (1578–1657), studied anatomy in Padua, Italy, where Galileo lectured. Harvey chronicled blood circulation through the body, with the heart functioning like a pump. Hydraulic mechanical pumps had already been developed in the early 17th century.
The scientific bent swayed to that of a mechanist world, with organic life subject to the mechanical laws of motion. The 2,000-year-old Greek view that all of Nature was a vast living organism was overthrown by this ‘advanced’ concept.
The brain, like the heart, was a pumping machine. And, just like machines, the body could not itself replace parts that were damaged.