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Michael Alberti and the Medical Therapy of the Internal Senses
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
2019 (English)In: Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences, ISSN 0022-5045, E-ISSN 1468-4373, Vol. 74, no 3, p. 245-266Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the first half of the eighteenth century, the German physician Michael Alberti was responsible for hundreds of dissertations and other works in medicine. While the bulk of the production reflected the dominating medical topics of his time, he also developed an original focus on the internal senses and their effects on bodily health and disease. Depending on whether internal senses, such as imagination and memory, were cultivated in the right way or not, they could work as powerful remedies or as equally powerful triggers of disease and even death. This article explores this little known strand of early modern medicine in three steps. First, it shows that Alberti's medicine took form in intimate connection to the Stahlian brand of Pietist medicine. As such, it further elaborated an existing strand of medicine that was intimately connected to German Pietism. Second, it analyses in some detail the role of the internal senses from a pathological and therapeutic perspective as well as examining what kind of persona the physician ought to embody. Lastly, it raises larger questions regarding how to understand this strand of early modern medicine. Rather than approaching it from the perspective of disciplinary history, the article seeks to reconstruct it as a part of what has sometimes been referred to as the early modern cultura animi tradition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2019. Vol. 74, no 3, p. 245-266
Keywords [en]
medicine, senses, internal senses, imagination, memory, Stahl, Alberti, Francke, Pietism, cultura animi
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-394652DOI: 10.1093/jhmas/jrz030ISI: 000484364200001PubMedID: 31215996OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-394652DiVA, id: diva2:1361436
Funder
Gunvor och Josef Anérs stiftelse, FB17-0045Available from: 2019-10-16 Created: 2019-10-16 Last updated: 2019-10-16Bibliographically approved

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