Joan Baptista Van Helmont: Reformer of Science and Medicine

Joan Baptista Van Helmont: Reformer of Science and Medicine

by Walter Pagel
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521526558

ISBN-13: 9780521526555

Pub. Date: 06/27/2002

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Only comparatively recently have historians begun to recognize the importance and influence of Joan Baptista Van Helmont (1579–1644) in the history of medicine and chemistry. Van Helmont's theories on the nature of life, biological time, physiology and disease, the structure of matter, and the processes of chemical change are veiled in his writings by a brand

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Overview

Only comparatively recently have historians begun to recognize the importance and influence of Joan Baptista Van Helmont (1579–1644) in the history of medicine and chemistry. Van Helmont's theories on the nature of life, biological time, physiology and disease, the structure of matter, and the processes of chemical change are veiled in his writings by a brand of Renaissance mysticism. His organic conception of the natural world, together with his belief in alchemy and astral forces, has resulted in a predominantly unsympathetic attitude among historians of science, by whom he is generally regarded as purveying an unpalatable and inherently 'un-scientific' amalgam of medicine and philosophy. Dr Pagel now demonstrates that by painstaking analysis it is possible to appreciate the creative insights of a figure like Van Helmont. His book is a model of its kind, and is the culmination of many years of reflection on the topics discussed.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521526555
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
06/27/2002
Series:
Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine Series
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
219
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.51(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Abbreviations; 1. The life of Van Helmont in the light of his endeavour; 2. New aims: the hunt for perfect knowledge; 3. The nature of nature; 4. Biological ideas; 5. The ontological conception of disease; 6. Final assessment; Bibliography of Van Helmont; Index.

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