Dutch Boerhaavians and Enlightenment Medicine of Body and Soul

  • Rina Knoeff
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  • Verwacht 31 december 2023
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Herman Boerhaave was the most famous and influential medical teacher in early eighteenth-century Europe. His death in 1738 is generally regarded as the marking the end of the 'Golden Age' of Dutch science and the beginning of the chemico-medical revolution inaugurated by the work of Lavoisier in France at the end of the century. Yet as this book demonstrates, such a simple linear narrative ignores the rich and on-going debates that shaped medical chemistry during the middle years of the eighteenth century. Instead of regarding Boerhaave's death as a stopping point, Rina Knoeff offers in this book a very different perspective, one that identifies an ongoing Boerhaavian medical tradition central to Dutch Enlightenment science and culture. Instead of viewing Boerhaave as the 'end of an era', she views Boerhaave as the beginning of something excitingly new. Rather than fitting Boerhaave into the 'old' - Cartesian/Newtonian - mechanical tradition, Knoeff promotes the concept of Boerhaave as 'father' of the new medical thinking in Enlightenment Europe. She argues that even after his death, Boerhaave's legacy continued to exercise a profound influence upon Enlightenment medicine and science. Boerhaave's pupils continued to promote his emphasis on chemically exploring the many 'latent peculiar powers of bodies', and through their teaching across Europe, Boerhaave's ideas continued to be circulated. As such it is shown how Boerhaavian medical and chemical ideas continued to circulate and inspire the scientific climate in which Lavoisier's revolution could develop at the end of the century.
Uitgavejaar 2023
ISBN 9781472472748
Serie The History of Medicine in Context
Verschijningsdatum 31 dec. 2023
Auteur(s) Rina Knoeff
Bindwijze Gebonden
Taal Engels

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