Between 1909 and 1911, Carlos Chagas described a pathogenic trypanosome, its intermediate host, and the illness he believed it caused, parasitic thyroiditis. He described a domestic insect and an endocrine disease caused by a parasite, which was called Chagas Disease.
In 1935, a new form of parasitosis, called American trypanosomiasis, appeared. It soon came to be seen as one of Latin America's most serious endemic diseases. The revelation of what was called "Romaña's sign" (a palpebral edema) marked a transformation in medical knowledge of the disease. Not only was the disease that Chagas had described shown to be an illusion, but twenty-five years of scientific controversy turned out to have been based on a misunderstanding.
This book examines the various discoveries, dead ends, controversies, and major epistemological transformations that marked the history of Chagas Disease. It shows how an epistemological focus can add depth and complexity to the history of medicine.
About the Author
FRANÇOIS DELAPORTE is Professor of Philosophy at the Université de Picardie-Jules Verne. Several of his books have earlier appeared in English translation, among them Anatomy of the Passions and A Vital Rationalist: Selected Writings from Georges Canguilhem.
ARTHUR GOLDHAMMER is Senior Affiliate of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University.
TODD MEYERS is Assistant Professor of Medical Anthropology at Wayne State University.
Table of Contents
Foreword Todd Meyers ix
1 Identifications 10
2 System 47
3 Revisions 73
4 Recasting 103