History of Medicine Notes George Cheyne.docx

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History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Lucia Dacome

Week 3: Trusting George Cheyne: Scientific Expertise, Common Sense, and Moral Authority in Early Eighteenth-Century Dietetic Medicine.  George Cheyne- iatromechanist, dietary writer, physician  Physicians role historically- between expertise and common sense, he was an exert, and accepted the role that he would say the causes, course and possible cure of condition AND maintenance of health and attainment of long life  There was a meaningful interaction been physicians and patients. Both accepted that laypersons knew a lot about their bodies and the conditions of their health and disease.  ‘Every man his own physician’ – commonly said that after 30 years of age every man should be his own physician and by then they would know which foods or activities agreed with them and which did not, and to guess what common illnesses afflicted him.  Montaigne’s skepticism- habit and constitution molded themselves to each other and everyone who was not a fool came to know best where his shoe pinched.  Early modern writers would cite ‘Rule of Celsus’ – people who were in ordinary good health should have no need for a physician or put themselves under the constraint of medical rules. o Lay commentators referred to commonsensical authority of the Rule of Celsus to argue against the tyranny of those physicians who cons o Some physicians have invoked the Rule of Celsus to show that they acknowledge the moral and pragmatic limits of their professional expertise- asserting your expertise does not mean you have taken leave of your common sense.  ‘He who lives physically lives miserably’ o Proverb o Moral and practical dangers of subjecting yourself unnecessarily to the discipline of medical expertise  Understood that laypeople might come to know about common illnesses, the early signs of their appearances, and the course they tended to take in their bodies, to reckon themselves possessed of relevant expertise. In therapeutics the person might be able to juxtapose their expertise to that of physicians and could acquire knowledge and familiarity with common drugs and procedures to know which did and did not work for them. o Apollo’s oracle said ‘know thyself’ and many early modern laypeople thought that they did know themselves well enough or better than a physician ever could. o Dietetics- regimen or hygiene  How you arranged eating and drinking, evacuations, sleeping and waking, exposure to airs and other environmental features, exercise and how you managed your emotions, constituted a big part of who you were and you’re recognized social worth.  Medical counsel toward temperance – nothing too much was another dictum on Apollo’s temple at Delphi  EX. gluttony was bad for you, but it was also bad  Temperance was a classical virture  Dietetic expertise counseled moderation and great cultural stability and uniformity.  Attracted little attn. because:  Advice seems banal  Not a culture that changes very much over a great sweep of history.  No real ideas at play- nothing headily intellectural as changes in medical theorizing ushered in with the Scientific Revolution.  The ancient natural philosophy of the elements and the doctrine of natural place underpinned the counsel of moderation, and the same ideas shaped the vocabulary of humors, complexions and temperaments that allowed physicians to understand complicated relationships between individuals, ailments, environment and medically directed measures  The joint ownership of dietetic culture could give physicians great authority, just as long as what they advised counted as common sense.  For doctors, dietetics held out limited possibilities for cultural and social distinction. Because this was a big part of the physicians role, it became important during late Renaissance, and early modern literature on medical errors  L
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