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Against the Spirit of System: The French Impulse in Nineteenth-Century American Medicine

Against the Spirit of System: The French Impulse in Nineteenth-Century American Medicine

By: John Harley Warner (author)Paperback

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Description

In this wide-ranging exploration of American medical culture, John Harley Warner offers the first in-depth study of a powerful intellectual and social influence: the radical empiricism of the Paris Clinical School. After the French Revolution, Paris emerged as the most vibrant center of Western medicine, bringing fundamental changes in understanding disease and attitudes toward the human body as an object of scientific knowledge. Between the 1810s and the 1860s, hundreds of Americans studied in Parisian hospitals and dissection rooms, and then applied their new knowledge to advance their careers at home and reform American medicine.By reconstructing their experiences and interpretations, by comparing American with English depictions of French medicine, and by showing how American memories of Paris shaped the later reception of German ideals of scientific medicine, Warner reveals that the French impulse was a key ingredient in creating the modern medicine American doctors and patients live with today. Impressed by the opportunity to learn through direct hands-on physical examination and dissection, many American students in Paris began to decry the elaborate theoretical schemes they held responsible for the degraded state of American medicine. These reformers launched an empiricist crusade "against the spirit of system," which promised social, economic, and intellectual uplift for their profession. Using private diaries, family letters, and student notebooks, and exploring regionalism, gender, and class, Warner draws readers into the world of medical Americans while investigating tensions between the physician's identity as scientist and as healer.

About Author

John Harley Warner is professor and chair of the history of medicine and science at Yale University, where he is also professor of American studies and history. He is the author of The Therapeutic Perspective: Medical Practice, Knowledge, and Identity in America, and co-editor (with Janet Tighe) of Major Problems in the History of American Medicine and Public Health.

Contents

Contents:INTRODUCTIONStorytelling and Professional Culture: American Constructions of the Paris Clinical SchoolCHAPTER 1Professional Improvement and the Antebellum Medical MarketplaceCHAPTER 2Why Paris?CHAPTER 3Errand to ParisCHAPTER 4Contexts of Transmission: Duty and DistinctionCHAPTER 5Telling a Historical StoryCHAPTER 6"They Manage These Things Better in France": Polity and ReformCHAPTER 7"Against the Spirit of System": Epistemology and ReformCHAPTER 8Science, Health, and the Moral Order of MedicineCHAPTER 9Americans and Paris in an Age of German AscendancyCHAPTER 10Remembering Paris

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780801878213
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 480
  • ID: 9780801878213
  • weight: 680
  • ISBN10: 0801878217

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