History of Science and Medicine

Staffan Müller-Wille

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199546497
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

History of Science and Medicine

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  • Methods and Historiography



This article explores what both historians of medicine and historians of science could gain from a stronger entanglement of their respective research agendas. It first gives a cursory outline of the history of the relationship between science and medicine since the scientific revolution in the seventeenth century. Medicine can very well be seen as a domain that was highly productive of scientific knowledge, yet in ways that do not fit very well with the historiographic framework that dominated the history of science. Furthermore, the article discusses two alternative historiographical approaches that offer ways of thinking about the growth of knowledge that fit well with the cumulative and translational patterns that characterize the development of the medical sciences, and also provide an understanding of concepts such as ‘health’ and ‘life’.

Keywords: medicine; science; historiographic; health; life

Article.  7604 words. 

Subjects: History ; Methods and Historiography

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