Gomez Pereyra (1500-1567): Precursor of the scientific method

Jamie G. GOMEZ1 and Elizabeth A. LONG2
1Jupiter, Florida; and 2West Hollywood, California


Gomez Pereyra, 16th century medical doctor, philosopher and inventor, published his first work in 1554. The subject of his work was a specific outline of a Scientific Method, based upon the relation between Nature and cause and effect. His work depicted the way to discover the truth by verification using experimental evidence. (Cohen 1947)

All research laboratories throughout the world use the Scientific Method. The majority of researchers firmly believe it was Rene Descartes, (17th century) the famous French philosopher, who described the Method. Very few know that one century earlier Gomez Pereyra laid down the basis of the Experimental Method being used today.

The basis of this assessment lies in the publication of Gomez Pereyra's books, Antoniana Margarita (1554) and Novae Veraque Medicine (1558), two extremely rare books maintained only in a few libraries. Gomez Pereyra was a physician and philosopher of the University of Salamanca. His work is quite well known in Europe, but almost unknown in the U.S.A. Only five references of his work are found in the English language. Antoniana Margarita was reprinted as a facsimile in Latin and translated into Spanish in 2000 by the University of Santiago de Compostela (ISBN 84-8121-805-7).

Anastasio Chinchilla (1840) wrote, "Pereyra is "the physician whom greatest honor and glory has given to Spain." French author Guardia (1889) wrote, "Pereyra is the most important Spanish Philosopher and Spain has done nothing to divulge his memory."

In presenting this to the forthcoming conference, we believe attendees will find Gomez Pereyra's contributions uplifting and be rewarded in discovering this unknown scientist's work.


Session XI -- Scientific Methods and Metaphors
Wednesday, 5 June 2002, 3:00 pm

Seventh Annual Meeting of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences (ISHN)

Los Angeles, California, USA