University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science > Panacea's daughters: gentlewomen healers and experiential knowledge in early modern Germany

Panacea's daughters: gentlewomen healers and experiential knowledge in early modern Germany

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A number of learned physicians in sixteenth-century Germany sang the praises of a particular type of healer: a gentlewoman who made medicinal remedies and handed them out to the sick poor (also helping ill aristocrats and patricians in the bargain). This paper examines the topos of the gentlewoman-healer, arguing that aristocratic women gained respect as medical practitioners not in spite of their gender, but because of it. Particularly, it focuses on gentlewomen’s reliance on experience and empirical observation to confirm the success of their medical remedies, categories that overlapped with a new interest in observation in learned medical spheres.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science series.

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