Against the Spirit of System

Against the Spirit of System

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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 qagainst the spirit of system, q 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. Originally published in 1997. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.... the very foundation of true Medical Knowledgea€a€” a€œthat word is Empiric, and is used in this sense as synonymous with Quack, Charlatan, Imposter aamp;c? ... 112 The observation of nature that the American disciples of the Paris School claimed as the core of their empiricist program was ... quite different from the experience of the untutored pretender, however much both claimed nature alone as their guide.

Title:Against the Spirit of System
Author:John Harley Warner
Publisher:Princeton University Press - 2014-07-14


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