Brain, Mind and Medicine: Essays in Eighteenth-Century Neuroscience


There have been no books published on neuroscience in the eighteenth century. Yet this was an important time, with science and medicine in transition. On the one hand, there were wildly speculative theories about the nervous system, many based on Newtonian mechanics and fanciful chemistry. But on the other, this was also a time when empirical research with quantification and experimentation was coming of age. This volume examines the eighteenth-century neuroscience milieu and looks at developments in anatomy, physiology, and medicine that highlight this era, which some people have called the Age of Reason and others the Enlightenment. The book covers such things as the aims of the scientific and medical Enlightenment, how neuroscience adopted electricity as the nerve force, how disorders such as aphasia and hysteria were treated, Mesmerism, and how some of the latest ideas made their way into the culture of the day.

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