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Experiment, Observation, Self-observation

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Empiricism and the ‘Reasonable Physicians’ of the Early Enlightenment

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This article aims to analyze the mechanisms of empirical data collection in medicine and psychology in the early Enlightenment by means of experiment, observation and self-observation, while associating them with their discursive forms of representation; namely, the case narrative. The combination of empirical and discursive anthropo-techniques leads to explanations on the anthropoietics of the Enlightenment; i.e., the question of how the habitus of man was shaped around 1750. Texts of four German ‘reasonable physicians’ will be considered: Friedrich Hoffmann (1660–1742), Johann Gottlieb Krüger (1715–1759), Andreas Elias Büchner (1701–1769) and Johann August Unzer (1727–1799).

Affiliations: 1: Ruhr-Universität Bochum


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