Read e-book online A Subtle and Mysterious Machine: The Medical World of Walter PDF

By S. Gaukroger (auth.), Emily Booth (eds.)

ISBN-10: 140203377X

ISBN-13: 9781402033773

ISBN-10: 1402033788

ISBN-13: 9781402033780

Walter Charleton (1619-1707) has been generally depicted as a normal thinker whose highbrow occupation reflected the highbrow ferment of the ‘scientific revolution’. rather than viewing him as a barometer of highbrow switch, I research the formerly unexplored query of his id as a doctor. analyzing 3 of his vernacular clinical texts, this quantity considers Charleton’s ideas on anatomy, body structure and the equipment wherein he sought to appreciate the invisible techniques of the body.

Although considering many empirical investigations in the Royal Society, he didn't supply epistemic primacy to experimental findings, nor did he intentionally establish himself with the empirical equipment linked to the ‘new science’. as an alternative Charleton provided himself as a scholarly eclectic, following a classical version of the self. Physicians had to propose either historic and smooth professionals, for you to allure and preserve sufferers. I argue that Charleton’s conditions as a working towards healthcare professional ended in the development of an id at variance with that broadly linked to normal philosophers. The insights he can provide us into the realm of 17th century physicians are hugely major and completely fascinating.

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See for example H. Butterfield, The Origins of Modern Science, 1300-1800, London, G. Bell, 1957. Cunningham & Williams, ‘De-centring’, p. 417. 6 I have no wish to argue over whether or not a ‘scientific revolution’ occurred, or whether that term describes the intellectual environment of the late seventeenth century. Instead the present chapter explores the ways in which the historiography of scientific revolution and the (more recent) ‘virtuoso’ natural philosopher profile have shaped our understanding of Walter Charleton.

S. Schaffer, ‘Godly men and mechanical philosophers: Souls and spirits in Restoration natural philosophy’, Science in Context, vol. 1, no. 1, 1987, p. 59. ’56 Shapin and Dear posit that part of the identity of natural philosophers relied upon the assertion of the modesty of their aims, which revolved around contemporary notions of civility. ’58 The importance of a modest self-presentation was echoed in ideas about the relationship between temperament and authority. 59 He notes that the most persuasive voice in the community of English natural philosophers was that of the individual who established his own disinterestedness.

I examine the degree to which his medical writings illustrate this profile, and consider how Charleton presented himself, in these writings, on the two issues of eclecticism and empiricism. Charleton’s writings show the presence of a coherent philosophy which is more central than has been recognised—namely eclecticism. I suggest that the eclectic approach offered to someone in 61 62 63 Shapin, Social History of Truth, p. 308. On the significance of eclecticism see Stephen Gaukroger, Francis Bacon and the Transformation of Early-Modern Philosophy, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2001, esp.

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A Subtle and Mysterious Machine: The Medical World of Walter Charleston (1619–1707) by S. Gaukroger (auth.), Emily Booth (eds.)


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