Homunculus  

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While still only a homunculus, Tristram's implantation within his mother's womb was disturbed. At the very moment of procreation, his mother asked his father if he had remembered to wind the clock. The distraction and annoyance led to the disruption of the proper balance of humours necessary to conceive a well-favoured child.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A homunculus (Latin for "little human", plural is "homunculi"; the diminutive of homo, "human") is, most generally, any representation of a human being. It is often used to illustrate the functioning of a system. In the scientific sense of an unknowable prime actor, it can be viewed as an entity or agent.

Preformationism,” a theory of heredity, claimed either the egg or the sperm (exactly which was a contentious issue) contained a complete preformed individual called a homunculus. Development was therefore a matter of enlarging this into a fully formed being.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Homunculus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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