Book ID: CBB084815318

The Science of Walking: Investigations into Locomotion in the Long Nineteenth Century (2020)


The Science of Walking recounts the story of the growing interest and investment of Western scholars, physicians, and writers in the scientific study of an activity that seems utterly trivial in its everyday performance yet essential to our human nature: walking. Most people see walking as a natural and unremarkable activity of daily life, yet the mechanism has long puzzled scientists and doctors, who considered it an elusive, recalcitrant, and even mysterious act. In The Science of Walking, Andreas Mayer provides a history of investigations of the human gait that emerged at the intersection of a variety of disciplines, including physiology, neurology, orthopedic surgery, anthropology, and psychiatry.   Looking back at more than a century of locomotion research, Mayer charts, for the first time, the rise of scientific endeavors to control and codify locomotion and analyzes their social, political, and aesthetic ramifications throughout the long nineteenth century. In an engaging narrative that weaves together science and history, Mayer sets the work of the most important representatives of the physiology of locomotion—including Wilhelm and Eduard Weber and Étienne-Jules Marey—in their proper medical, political, and artistic contexts. In tracing the effects of locomotion studies across other cultural domains, Mayer reframes the history of the science of walking and gives us a deeper understanding of human movement.

Reviewed By

Review Mathilde Lequin (2022) Review of "The Science of Walking: Investigations into Locomotion in the Long Nineteenth Century". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 662-663). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Schreier, Wolfgang
Weber, Wilhelm
Weber, Eduard
Flesher, Mary Mosher
Arndt, T.
Haring, A.
History of Psychiatry
The Journal of Transport History
NTM: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Technik und Medizin
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
科学史研究 Kagakusi Kenkyu (History of Science)
History of Psychology
Oxford University Press
University of Rochester Press
University of California, Berkeley
Mental disorders and diseases
Weber, Wilhelm Eduard
Weber, Eduard Friedrich
Weber, Ernst Heinrich
Fechner, Gustav Theodor
Wernicke, Carl
Sherrington, Charles Scott
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
20th century, early
21st century
18th century
Central Europe: Germany, Austria, Switzerland
Great Britain
North America
Reichsuniversität Strassburg

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