Thesis ID: CBB001567650

Chymical Medicine, Corpuscularism, and Controversy: A Study of Daniel Sennert's Works and Letters (2014)

unapi

Klein, Joel A. (Author)


Carmichael, Ann G.
Moran, Bruce T.
Indiana University
Bertoloni Meli, Domenico
Carmichael, Ann G.
Moran, Bruce T.
Newman, William R.
Bertoloni Meli, Domenico


Publication Date: 2014
Edition Details: Advisor: Newman, William R; Committee Members: Bertoloni Meli, Domenico, Carmichael, Ann G., Moran, Bruce T.
Physical Details: 372 pp.
Language: English

This project explores the intellectual, cultural, and practical interactions among chymistry, medicine, and atomism in the early-modern German university and laboratory by focusing on chymical medicine in the works and letters of the Wittenberg professor of medicine Daniel Sennert. Sennert was an early atomist who had a major influence on Robert Boyle, was among the first to offer university chymical pedagogy, and was one of the most widely read authors on medicine and natural philosophy in the early seventeenth century, but much of his chymico-medical oeuvre remains neglected. Sennert envisioned a major reform of Galenist pathology and pharmacy founded upon experience, atomism, a redefinition of chymistry, and a new understanding of the material principles of nature. This reform was associated with a serious interest in chymical medicines, among which were nearly-universal noble metallic remedies as well as cathartic medicines thought to purge the body in multiple ways. That Sennert's reform of medicine was perceived as radical is apparent from the several controversies to which it led, including an extended dispute with Groningen professor Johann Freitag, in which Sennert was accused of blasphemy and heresy. Several of Sennert's chymical and chymico-medical experiments shed new light on this controversy and develop notions of experience and credulity in early-modern natural philosophy. Sennert pursued chymical medicines and carried out numerous experimental trials both via a collaborative epistolary exchange with his brother-in-law, Michael Döring, and with students in his "chymical college." The conceptualization of these remedies within rational medicine was a major part of his effort to locate a via media between iconoclastic Paracelsian chymists and traditionalist Galenists and Aristotelians. Likewise, Sennert drew from Lutheranism and literary humanism to style himself an incredulous observer of nature, but also to develop a conception of the public good in opposition to secretive empirics and charlatans during the unrest of the Thirty Years' War. By historicizing the generation and transmission of chymico-medical knowledge and experience in the early Republic of Letters, this project suggests that Sennert was not simply a reformer who developed concepts integral to later chymistry, but anticipated important values and ideals of later scientific discourse.

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Description Cited in Dissertation Abstracts International-A 75/11(E), May 2015. Proquest Document ID: 1560892481.


Citation URI
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Authors & Contributors
Hirai, Hiro
Lüthy, Christoph H.
Newman, William Royall
Murdoch, John Emery
Clericuzio, Antonio
Blank, Andreas
Journals
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Bruniana & Campanelliana: Ricerche Filosofiche e Materiali Storico-testuali
Galilæana: Journal of Galilean Studies
Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal
Perspectives on Science
Publishers
Brill
The Robert Boyle Project
Concepts
Natural philosophy
Atomism
Medicine
Physics
Matter theory
Alchemy
People
Sennert, Daniel
Boyle, Robert
Bacon, Francis, 1st Baron Verulam
Patrizi, Francesco
Gassendi, Pierre
Locke, John
Time Periods
17th century
16th century
Early modern
Medieval
Renaissance
15th century
Places
Germany
England
Europe
Italy
Institutions
Royal Society of London
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