The interpretation of eighteenth-century medicine has been much contested. Some have view it as a wilderness of rationalism and arid theories between the Scientific Revolution and the astonishing changes of the nineteenth-century. Other scholars have emphasized the close and fruitful links between medicine and the Enlightenment, suggesting that medical advance was the very embodiment of the
philosphes’ ideal of a practical science that would improve mankind’s lot and foster human happiness.
In a series of essays covering Great Britain, France, Germany and other parts of Europe, noted historians debate these issues through detailed examinations of major aspects of eighteenth-century medicine and medical controversy, including such topics as the introduction of smallpox inoculation, the transformation of medical education, and the treatment of the insane. The essays as a whole suggest a positive reading of the transformations in eighteenth-century medicine, while stressing local diversity and uneven development.
The great British reformer Jeremy Bentham wrote that 'the art of legislation is but the art of healing practised upon a large scale'. He added that 'It is the common endeavour of both to relieve men from the miseries of life. But the physician relieves them one by one: the legislator by millions at a time'. Bentham raised the question of the interplay of medicine with politics. It forms an important topic with powerful contemporary overtones. This volume, containing eleven essays plus a lengthy introduction, seeks to explore it historically. It takes a long perspective, covering the last two centuries and also an international viewpoint, examining Britain in detail but also containing contributions dealing with the United States, Germany, Russia and France.
Professional education forms a key element in the transmission of medical learning and skills, in occupational solidarity and in creating and recreating the very image of the practitioner. Yet the history of British medical education has hitherto been surprisingly neglected. Building upon papers contributed to two conferences on the history of medical education in the early 1990s, this volume presents new research and original synthesis on key aspects of medical instruction, theoretical and practical, from early medieval times into the present century. Academic and practical aspects are equally examined, and balanced attention is given to different sites of instruction, be it the university or the hospital. The crucial role of education in medical qualifications and professional licensing is also examined as is the part it has played in the regulation of the entry of women to the profession.
Contributors are Juanita Burnby, W.F. Bynum, Laurence M. Geary, Faye Getz, Johanna Geyer-Kordesch, S.W.F. Holloway, Stephen Jacyna, Peter Murray Jones, Helen King, Susan C. Lawrence, Irvine Loudon, Margaret Pelling, Godelieve Van Heteren, and John Harley Warner.
For the last half century, Mikuláš Teich has made many eminent contributions to the histories of science, technology, medicine and society. His essentially Marxist historiographical stance has resisted the notion that science is an autonomous entity, and has instead stressed the interplay of the economic, the social and the scientific forces in history. At the same time, particularly in studies of biochemistry, he has emphasized the significance of the role of science and technology in modern economic change.
In a career divided between Czechoslovakia and the UK, he has always been highly internationalist in his historical outlooks, combining what is valuable in Contentinal and British methods.
This volume is to honour him on his eightieth birthday. Examining European developments since the sixteenth century, the essays, many by old friends and colleagues, cluster around themes close to his own personal scholarship and related to volumes which he has edited. The book is divided into sections on Questions of History; Scientific Lives; Disciplines; Natural History, and Science and Disease.
Anti-psychiatry' is a movement more sloganized than analysed. Until now it has been associated in the English-speaking world primarily with R.D. Laing and a coterie of his associates, and a radical critique not just of psychiatric hospitalization but of the very premises of psychiatry itself and the basic institutions of society, especially the family.
But are these notions accurate, or rather distorted images, created by Laing himself or by the media? In this book, which has emerged out of an Anglo-Dutch conference held in June 1997, the realities of critical psychiatry are explored, using comparisons and contrasts between the British and the Dutch experiences as a probe. There were, it turns out, various distinct anti-psychiatries - indeed, hardly anybody actually used that label about themselves - and they played a role in the reform no less than the rejection of regular psychiatry.