Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Reading 11/9/16


Vance mentioned an article by meyer [who wrote on Willis] on vitalism and its relation to greek ideas. meyer presents a very interesting summary of greek biology as essentially derived from plato, his discussion of vitalism is of less interest,

Meyer, A. ...

started plamper on history of emotions. the intro is superficial, though cogent. I ran into an interview by Plamper with Reddy, Rosenwein and ? , they are interesting as doing history of emotions. though it seems that the 17th and 18th century interest in 'passions' is not their focus. they seem more interested in the interaction between ideas/culture and biology than in evolving theories

Chapter 10 of Vance on Mayerne: M. tried to add chemistry to humoralism. his empiricism was aimed at confirming theoretical positions. the notion of 'condition' allowed him to treat individual patients symptoms, while ignoring theory. By Willis' time the galenic theory could be ignored.

mentions Sigerist's idea that Harvey was a Baroque scientist. Looked up Pagel on this Sigerist's article on Harvey. S. sees H's chief modernity as computation. and sees his Aristotelianism as superficial. Pagel goes on to say that H was chiefly concerned with the aristotlean notion of the purpose of circulation

Reading 11/08/16

 Chapter 9 of Vance on Meyerne discusses the death of Prince Henry in 1612. It is the best depiction of early 17th century doctors at work because they collaboated and discussed what they thought would help and Meyerne wrote a defence against accusations of malpractice.

√√ Howells, J. G. & Osborne, M.L. The Incidence of Emotional Disorder in a seventeeth-century Medical Practice, Medical History, 14 (1970)192-198. List of non psychotic patients seen by Shakespeare's son-in-law, Dr John Hall  (1575-1635) published in 1657 (possibly read by Willis. [Sydenham folder]

-->[annex]  Bates, D. G. Sydenham and the Medical Meaning of Method, BHM li (1977)324-338.

--> [Illiad] Harley, D. Political Post-mortems and morbid anatomy in seventeenth -century England, Social History of Medicine, 12 (1994) 1-28.

Harley, D. Spiritual Physic,Providence and English Medicine 1560-1640, in Medicine and the Reformation, (eds) Grell O.P. and Cunningham A. London Routledge 1993

R. Crawfurd, The Last Days of Charles II (Oxford Clarendon Press, 1909)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Sydenham's disease entities

Sydenham presented himself as a pure empiricist. Taylor argues that Sydenham had unacknowledged allegiance to platonic ideal forms as the basis of an ontology. This would not be Hippocratic, as Hippocratics were only interested in the description of individual patients not the generalization of such descriptions into disease types. It would seem that this ontology was present in his botanic classification of diseases. Pinel picked up both the classification and the descriptive method.  

F. Kraupl Taylor {Psychological medicine, 12 (1982)243-250] The similarity of Sydenham to Hippocrates has been overstated. "Hippocratic doctors had remained largely focused on individual patients, their case histories and prognoses. They were less interested in considering similarities of symptoms among their patients or in deriving from such similarities the theoretical view that some disease entity accounted for them. ...Hippocratics insisted on the uniqueness of the individual patient." Sydenham aimed at a transformation of case-histories, or pathographies, into disease histories or nosographies.

certain substantial forms were responsible for the spontaneous generation of life. It was not until 1860 that Pasteur finally disproved the occurrence of spontaneous generation.

[ordered from annex] L. J.  Rather (1959) Towards a philosophical study of the idea of disease. in The Historical Development of Physiological thought (ed. C. M. Brooks and P. E
Cranefield pp. 351-373 Hafner, New York.
[ordered from IlliadMeyer, A (1929) The tradition of ancient biology and medicine in the vitalistic periods of modern biology and medicine. Bulletin of the Institute of the History of medicine 5, 800-821. Article Request Received. Transaction Number 704480