Article ID: CBB673499373

Advocating Inoculation in the Eighteenth Century: Exemplarity and Quantification (2016)

unapi

Smallpox inoculation was introduced in Europe in the early eighteenth century and has been considered the first mass treatment of disease based on practical use of probability calculations and mathematical tools of computation. The article argues that these new approaches were deeply entangled with other rationalities, most emphatically that of exemplarity. Changes in inoculation methods around mid-century gradually changed the conceptualization of disease, seeing all cases as fundamentally equal, and thus making it more relevant to count them. Arithmetic changed the ways of thinking about smallpox epidemics, but new ways of conceptualizing disease were vital to making it a matter of arithmetic at all. The article investigates what happened when numbers and figures were introduced into medical matters: Who did the figures really concern, and what types of argument were they fitted into? How were numbers transformed into metaphors, and how did quantitative argument work together with arguments from exemplarity?

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Authors & Contributors
Gallay, Alan
Jones, Greta
Malcolm, Elizabeth
Shuttleton, David E.
Fenn, Elizabeth A.
Kelly, James G.
Journals
Social History of Medicine
British Journal for the History of Science
College Mathematics Journal
Medical History
Atti e Memorie, Rivista di Storia della Farmacia
Publishers
Cambridge University Press
Hill & Wang
International Specialized Book Services
Melbourne University Press
CreateSpace
University of Chicago Press
Concepts
Smallpox
Disease and diseases
Medicine
Inoculation
Vaccines; vaccination
Public health
People
Wilde, Robert Willis
Montagu, Mary Wortley, Lady
Dryden, John
Bernoulli, Daniel
Sutton, Daniel
Jenner, Edward
Time Periods
18th century
19th century
17th century
Early modern
20th century, early
Modern
Places
Europe
United States
Africa
Great Britain
Ireland
Australia
Institutions
Royal Belfast Academical Institution
Catholic University of Ireland (Dublin)
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