Birth of the Clinic

Birth of the Clinic

By (author) Michel Foucalt

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In the eighteenth century, medicine underwent a mutation. For the first time, medical knowledge took on a precision that had formerly belonged only to mathematics. The body became something that could be mapped. Disease became subject to new rules of classification. And doctors begin to describe phenomena that for centuries had remained below the threshold of the visible and expressible. In The Birth of the Clinic the philosopher and intellectual historian who may be the true heir to Nietzsche charts this dramatic transformation of medical knowledge. As in his classic Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault shows how much what we think of as pure science owes to social and cultural attitudes -- in this case, to the climate of the French Revolution. Brilliant, provocative, and omnivorously learned, his book sheds new light on the origins of our current notions of health and sickness, life and death.

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  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 129.54 x 200.66 x 17.78mm | 136.08g
  • 01 May 1996
  • Random House USA Inc
  • New York
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0679753346
  • 9780679753346
  • 61,659

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Review quote

Learned [and] rewarding...The Birth of the Clinic continues [Foucault's] brilliant history, not of ideas as such, but of the of perception." -- The New York Times Book Review "The Birth of the Clinic attempts a minor revolution in medical-history writing.... Foucault's research is overwhelming and affords the reader considerable entertainment as well as insight."

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Back cover copy

In the eighteenth century, medicine underwent a mutation. For the first time, medical knowledge took on precision that had formerly belonged only to mathematics. The body became something that could be mapped. In this book, the author charts a dramatic transformation of medical knowledge. His book sheds new light on the origins of our current notions of health and sickness, life and death.

show more

Flap copy

In the eighteenth century, medicine underwent a mutation. For the first time, medical knowledge took on a precision that had formerly belonged only to mathematics. The body became something that could be mapped. Disease became subject to new rules of classification. And doctors begin to describe phenomena that for centuries had remained below the threshold of the visible and expressible. In The Birth of the Clinic the philosopher and intellectual historian who may be the true heir to Nietzsche charts this dramatic transformation of medical knowledge. As in his classic Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault shows how much what we think of as pure science owes to social and cultural attitudes -- in this case, to the climate of the French Revolution. Brilliant, provocative, and omnivorously learned, his book sheds new light on the origins of our current notions of health and sickness, life and death.

show more