Chapter

Robert Koch: Pure Science?

Paul U. Unschuld

in What Is Medicine?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780520257658
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944701 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257658.003.0076
Robert Koch: Pure Science?

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The cellular pathology of Virchow made a fundamental new orientation possible thus he is considered as the “icon of an era.” The new methods adopted by Virchow enabled him and many other physicians and observers of nature to solve questions such as the question of illness pathogens. Technology, along with physics and chemistry, allowed for a view into increasingly distant spaces of the all-embracing universe. The microscope, along with physics and chemistry, made it possible to view finer details of individual organisms. Robert Koch discovered the pathogen of cholera and formulated the scientific postulates that have since been considered as valid proof of the microbial causation of certain diseases. The postulates are, firstly isolate a pathogen from a sick person, second, introduce the pathogen into another person and lastly, isolate the same pathogen from the second person. Robert Koch's ideas were received by an era that was finally ready for them.

Keywords: illness pathogens; microscope; pathogen of cholera; microbial causation; Chinese model of coughing

Chapter.  865 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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