Title: Nosologia methodica sistens morborum classes...
Publisher: Nicholas Pezzanae, Venice
Publication Date: 1764
Book Condition: Very Good
4to (255 x 190mm). Title printed in red and black. Text in two columns. Contemporary vellum; (endpapers browned). Pictorial wood-engraved ex-libris by Leo Wyatt for Lord Norwich on front pastedown. Sauvages major nosological treatise after Sydenham. François Boissier de Sauvages wrote this comprehensive symptom-based classification called Nosology after the science that deals with the systematic classification of diseases. The author, a professor of medicine and botany at Montpellier, presents clinical cases classified according to the methods of Thomas Sydenham, considering mainly the symptoms and the morphology of the disease and showing much more interest in the diagnosis of disease and for its care. The beginnings of the systematic model in medicine appear early in the writings of Sydenham. A friend of Locke and admirer of Francis Bacon, Sydenham called for the setting aside of hypotheses and philosophical systems in favor of "a natural description or history of all diseases." He took the significant step of asserting that as there were species of plants, so too there were species of disease. This implied that diseases were distinct entities, not merely disturbances blending into one another, and that these distinct entities could be systematically grouped or classified. This Sauvages’ magnum opus arranged its objects in classes, orders, and genera as well as species. Like Sydenham, Sauvages distrusted contemporary physiological theories and rejected the idea that a classification of diseases could be based on knowledge of their underlying causes. He insisted that classification be based instead on study of directly observable symptoms. Species definition depended largely on designation of the various circumstances in which symptoms might appear. Species proliferated accordingly, finally reaching 2,400, divided into 315 genera, 44 orders, and 10 classes. Sauvages and his contemporary Carl Linnaeus set the pattern for the nosology of the latter 18th century. There is a clustering of nosological treatises in the 1760s and 1770s. Vogel published at Göttingen in 1764; Cullen, at Edinburgh in 1772; Macbride, at Dublin in 1775; Sagar, at Vienna in 1776; and Vitel, at Lyons in 1778. All followed Sauvages in departing from Sydenham’s original emphasis within the systematic program. Rather than seeking new, more accurate descriptions of disease, the nosologists of the latter 18th century took existing descriptions and tried to catalogue and group them, usually on the basis of symptoms. Bookseller Inventory # D6239
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