The role of the medical cadaver in the genesis of enlightenment-era science and technology
The cosmos of the Middle Ages and Renaissance was understood to be an integrated, holistic and hierarchical order in harmonious relation, wherein the organism of the body reflected the intrinsic natural order of the larger cosmos. With the revival of Neoplatonism in the Renaissance, the intellectual climate placed increasing emphasis on the separation of matter and form, the duality of appearance and form, and mathematical models geared toward the manipulation of matter. The devaluing of the natural world corresponded to the devaluing and persecution of women, including the witch trials and exclusion of women from the previous role in medicine, particularly in the role of midwife. A pervasive theme of objectification provided the basis for the rationalization of cruelty and violence in varied forms.
(2018). The role of the medical cadaver in the genesis of enlightenment-era science and technology, in The medicalized body and anesthetic culture, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 181-203.
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