Remembered more for his philosophical writings, Descartes also made valuable contributions to medical science. De homine was intended as a physiological appendix to his famous philosophical work, Discours sur la methode (1637), but in the wake of the Catholic Church's condemnation of Galileo, Descartes decided to supress the work out of fear of being charged with heresy. It was first issued in 1662, twelve years after his death, in a Latin translation; the French original was issued two years later. Regarded as the first European book on physiology, De homine explained all physical motion in purely mechanical terms. The work was based on Descarte's notion of man as a machine created by God, and directed by a rational soul located in the pineal gland. It is the first work to refer to involuntary reflex action.