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Naturalism and un-naturalism among the Cartesian physicians

Manning, Gideon (2008) Naturalism and un-naturalism among the Cartesian physicians. Inquiry, 51 (5). pp. 441-463. ISSN 0020-174X. doi:10.1080/00201740802421295.

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Highlighting early modern medicine's program of explanation and intervention, I claim that there are two distinctive features of the physician's naturalism. These are, first, an explicit recognition that each patient had her own individual and highly particularized nature and, second, a self-conscious use of normative descriptions when characterizing a patient's nature as healthy (ordered) or unhealthy (disordered). I go on to maintain that in spite of the well documented Cartesian rejection of Aristotelian natures in favor of laws of nature, Descartes and his most important medical disciple accepted both features of the physician's naturalism where human medicine was concerned. Thus, in this article I critically engage with standard portraits of Cartesianism and naturalism by integrating the histories of science, medicine and philosophy, but especially medicine and philosophy.

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Additional Information:© 2008 Taylor & Francis. Received 29 July 2008. Online Publication Date: 01 October 2008
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:MANi08
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13487
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:07 Jul 2009 22:51
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:38

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