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Elisha Bartlett's Philosophy of Medicine
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Main description:

The idea of preparing a new critical edition of Elisha Bartlett’s Essay on the Philosophy of Medical Science was suggested to me several years ago by Dr. H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr. Since that time it has been a pleasure to get to know the life and work of Elisha Bartlett. I am pleased to be completing this book in the bicentennial year of Bartlett’s birth. Bartlett was born in 1804 in Smithfield, Rhode Island, less than twenty-five miles from Worcester, Massachusetts, my present home—a short journey even in Bartlett’s day. I have been able to walk at some of the sites to which Bartlett continually returned during his life. Visiting Bartlett’s grave in the Slatersville cemetery has been an inspiration for the preparation of this book. Proximity to several institutions with rich holdings in Bartlett’s works and in nineteenth-century American history of medicine greatly facilitated my research. First, though, I want to acknowledge the College of the Holy Cross for supporting my sabbatical leave for the academic year 2003-2004. The American Antiquarian Society, in Worcester, Massachusetts, was generous in giving me access to its remarkable resources. I was able to find many of Bartlett’s published works and other nineteenth-century medical literature there, and the entire library staff provided quick and able research assistance.


Provides the most complete detailed account of Elisha Bartlett's work on the philosophy of medicine

Includes a previously unpublished manuscript of Bartlett's philosophy of therapeutics

Back cover:

This volume is a scholar's edition of the first systematic American work on the philosophy of medicine, An Essay on the Philosophy of Medical Science (Philadelphia, 1844), by Elisha Bartlett (1804-1855). The book is divided into two parts: Part I consists of a critical introduction that gives a biographical sketch of Elisha Bartlett and situates his empiricist philosophy of medicine within the philosophical debates of the various theoretical schools of medical practice of early nineteenth-century America. Short summaries of Bartlett's other writings and important addresses are presented, and many of the reviews of Bartlett's work that appeared in the medical journals of his time are discussed. Also, the influence of the Paris clinical school on Bartlett's philosophy is shown. Part II contains the Essay, and includes a previously unpublished manuscript of Bartlett's philosophy of therapeutics, which develops some of the ideas of the Essay and adds another facet to Bartlett's philosophy of medicine. In conclusion, some critical notes on Bartlett's works are incorporated. A bibliography includes Bartlett's published work, published reviews of his work, unpublished manuscripts and correspondence, and secondary literature on Bartlett and the philosophy of nineteenth-century medicine, and the book's index provides scholars access to the major ideas in Bartlett's work.

This book will be of interest to philosophers of medicine, physicians, historians of medicine, and medical ethicists.


Part I. Introduction; William E. Stempsey, S.J. Contents of This Book. A Biographical Sketch of Elisha Bartlett. Early Life and Education. Medical Education. Life in Lowell. The Peripatetic Professor. Return to Rhode Island. Philosophy of Medicine in the Nineteenth Century. Early Nineteenth Century American Medicine. The Paris Clinical School. Influence of the Paris Clinical School in America. Elisha Bartlett’s Philosophy of Medicine. An Introductory Lecture on the Objects and Nature of Medical Science. An Essay on the Philosophy of Medical Science. An Inquiry into the Degree of Certainty of Medicine, and into the Nature and Extent of Its Power over Disease. The Philosophy of Therapeutics. Bartlett’s Other Writings. Editorial Work and Translation. Medical Writing. Medical Exhortation. Civic Addresses. Poetry. Bibliography.
Part II. Texts; Elisha Bartlett. An Essay on the Philosophy of Medical Science, Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia, 1844. Part First: Philosophy of Physical Science. Chapter I. Chapter II. Chapter III. Chapter IV. Chapter V. Part Second: Philosophy of Medical Science. Chapter I. Chapter II. Chapter III. Chapter IV. Chapter V. Chapter VI. Chapter VII. Chapter VIII. Chapter IX. Chapter X. Chapter XI. Chapter XII. Chapter XIII. Chapter XIV. Chapter XV. Chapter XVI. Index. The Philosophy of Therapeutics, Manuscript, ca. 1852.
Notes; William E. Stempsey, S.J.


ISBN-13: 9789048167746
Publisher: Springer (Springer Netherlands)
Publication date: October, 2010
Pages: 256
Weight: 413g
Availability: POD
Subcategories: Ethics, General Issues
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