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Robert Whytt

(1714—1766) physician and natural philosopher


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Robert Whytt was born in Edinburgh on 6 September 1714 and died there on 15 April 1766. He gained a BA from the University of St Andrews in 1730 and then studied medicine in the 1730s at the University of Edinburgh, under Alexander Monro primus. At Edinburgh the mechanical theories of the great Dutch physician Hermann Boerhaave were influential, although there is also record of Whytt studying with the Edinburgh surgeon George Young, a member of the Rankenian Club and a sceptic who was very critical of mechanical theories. Whytt continued his education in London, Paris and Leiden (where he is thought to have heard the then aged Boerhaave). He received an MD from Rheims in 1736 and from St Andrews in 1737. He began teaching the theory or ‘institutes’ of medicine in Edinburgh in the mid-1740s and was appointed professor in 1747. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1752.

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From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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