Search results for: eighteenth-century-vitalism

Eighteenth Century Vitalism

Author : C. Packham
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This book offers an important account of the relationship between science and culture in the eighteenth century. It examines the 'vitalist' turn in physiology and natural philosophy, and its presence and effect in the burgeoning of philosophical and scientific inquiry of the Scottish Enlightenment, and the radical politics and culture of the 1790s.

Eighteenth Century Medical Vitalism

Author : José María López Piñero
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A Cultural History of Medical Vitalism in Enlightenment Montpellier

Author : Elizabeth A. Williams
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One of the key themes of the Enlightenment was the search for universal laws and truths that would help illuminate the workings of the universe. It is in such attitudes that we trace the origins of modern science and medicine. However, not all eighteenth century scientists and physicians believed that such universal laws could be found, particularly in relation to the differences between living and inanimate matter. From the 1740s physicians working in the University of Medicine of Montpellier began to contest Descartes's dualist concept of the body-machine that was being championed by leading Parisian medical 'mechanists'. In place of the body-machine perspective that sought laws universally valid for all phenomena, the vitalists postulated a distinction being living and other matter, offering a holistic understanding of the physical-moral relation in place of mind-body dualism. Their medicine was not based on mathematics and the unity of the sciences, but on observation of the individual patient and the harmonious activities of the 'body-economy'. Vitalists believed that Illness was a result of disharmony in this 'body-economy' which could only be remedied on an individual level depending on the patient's own 'natural' limitations. The limitations were established by a myriad of factors such as sex, class, age, temperament, region, and race, which negated the use of a single universal treatment for a particular ailment. Ultimately Montpelier medicine was eclipsed by that of Paris, a development linked to the dynamics of the Enlightenment as a movement bent on cultural centralisation, acquiring a reputation as a kind of anti-science of the exotic and the mad. Given the long-standing Paris-centrism of French cultural history, Montpellier vitalism has never been accorded the attention it deserves by historians. This study repairs that neglect.

Life Forms in the Thinking of the Long Eighteenth Century

Author : Keith Baker
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For many years, scholars have been moving away from the idea of a singular, secular, rationalistic, and mechanistic “Enlightenment project.” Historian Peter Reill has been one of those at the forefront of this development, demonstrating the need for a broader and more varied understanding of eighteenth-century conceptions of nature. Life Forms in the Thinking of the Long Eighteenth Century is a unique reappraisal of Enlightenment thought on nature, biology, and the organic world that responds to Reill’s work. The ten essays included in the collection analyse the place of historicism, vitalism, and esotericism in the eighteenth century – three strands of thought rarely connected, but all of which are central to Reill’s innovative work. Working across national and regional boundaries, they engage not only French and English but also Italian, Swiss, and German writers.

Eighteenth Century Vitalism

Author : C. Packham
File Size : 75.59 MB
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This book offers an important account of the relationship between science and culture in the eighteenth century. It examines the 'vitalist' turn in physiology and natural philosophy, and its presence and effect in the burgeoning of philosophical and scientific inquiry of the Scottish Enlightenment, and the radical politics and culture of the 1790s.

Fiber Medicine and Culture in the British Enlightenment

Author : Hisao Ishizuka
File Size : 71.86 MB
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This book provides a full account of the concept of fiber and fiber theory in eighteenth-century British medicine. It explores the pivotal role fiber played as a defining, underlying concept in anatomy, physiology, pathology, therapeutics, psychology, and the life sciences. With the gradual demise of ancient humoralism, the solid fibers appeared on the medical scene both as the basic building unit of the body and as a dynamic agent of life. As such, fiber stands at the heart of eighteenth-century medicine, both iatromechanism and iatro-vitalism. Touching on the cultural aspects of fiber, the Baroque, and the culture of sensibility, this book also challenges the widely held assumption that the eighteenth century was the age of the nerve and instead offers an alternative model of fiber.

Vitalizing Nature in the Enlightenment

Author : Peter H. Reill
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This far-reaching study redraws the intellectual map of the Enlightenment and boldly reassesses the legacy of that highly influential period for us today. Peter Hanns Reill argues that in the middle of the eighteenth century, a major shift occurred in the way Enlightenment thinkers conceived of nature that caused many of them to reject the prevailing doctrine of mechanism and turn to a vitalistic model to account for phenomena in natural history, the life sciences, and chemistry. As he traces the ramifications of this new way of thinking through time and across disciplines, Reill provocatively complicates our understanding of the way key Enlightenment thinkers viewed nature. His sophisticated analysis ultimately questions postmodern narratives that have assumed a monolithic Enlightenment—characterized by the dominance of instrumental reason—that has led to many of the disasters of modern life.

Vital Forces Teleology and Organization

Author : Andrea Gambarotto
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This book offers a comprehensive account of vitalism and the Romantic philosophy of nature. The author explores the rise of biology as a unified science in Germany by reconstructing the history of the notion of “vital force,” starting from the mid-eighteenth through the early nineteenth century. Further, he argues that Romantic Naturphilosophie played a crucial role in the rise of biology in Germany, especially thanks to its treatment of teleology. In fact, both post-Kantian philosophers and naturalists were guided by teleological principles in defining the object of biological research. The book begins by considering the problem of generation, focusing on the debate over the notion of “formative force.” Readers are invited to engage with the epistemological status of this formative force, i.e. the question of the principle behind organization. The second chapter provides a reconstruction of the physiology of vital forces as it was elaborated in the mid- to late-eighteenth century by the group of physicians and naturalists known as the “Göttingen School.” Readers are shown how these authors developed an understanding of the animal kingdom as a graded series of organisms with increasing functional complexity. Chapter three tracks the development of such framework in Romantic Naturphilosophie. The author introduces the reader to the problem of classification, showing how Romantic philosophers of nature regarded classification as articulated by a unified plan that connects all living forms with one another, relying on the idea of living nature as a universal organism. In the closing chapter, this analysis shows how the three instances of pre-biological discourse on living beings – theory of generation, physiology and natural history – converged to form the consolidated disciplinary matrix of a general biology. The book offers an insightful read for all scholars interested in classical German philosophy, especially those researching the philosophy of nature, as well as the history and philosophy of biology.

Life Forms in the Thinking of the Long Eighteenth Century

Author : Keith Michael Baker
File Size : 80.29 MB
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"For many years, scholars have been moving away from the idea of a singular, secular, rationalistic, and mechanistic "Enlightenment project." Historian Peter Reill has been one of those at the forefront of this development, demonstrating the need for a broader and more varied understanding of eighteenth-century conceptions of nature. Life Forms in the Thinking of the Long Eighteenth Century is a unique reappraisal of Enlightenment thought on nature, biology, and the organic world that responds to Reill's work. The ten essays included in the collection analyse the place of historicism, vitalism, and esotericism in the eighteenth century--three strands of thought rarely connected, but all of which are central to Reill's innovative work. Working across national and regional boundaries, they engage not only French and English but also Italian, Swiss, and German writers."--

Life Forms in the Thinking of the Long Eighteenth Century

Author : Keith Michael Baker
File Size : 70.56 MB
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Life Forms in the Thinking of the Long Eighteenth Century is a unique reappraisal of Enlightenment thought on nature, biology, and the organic world.