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Divine MachinesLeibniz and the Sciences of Life$
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Justin E. H. Smith

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691141787

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691141787.001.0001

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“Que les philosophes medicinassent”

“Que les philosophes medicinassent”

Leibniz’s Encounter with Medicine and its Experimental Context

(p.25) Chapter One “Que les philosophes medicinassent”
Divine Machines

Justin E. H. Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Leibniz's principal texts on medicine and related domains. In a broad sense, all of Leibniz's philosophy of biology is at the same time a philosophy of medicine. It begins with a consideration of Leibniz's interest in chemistry, or what is for him fundamentally the study of the various “mixtures” that make up the fluid parts of the human body, and also the study of the uses of chemical elements and compounds in medical treatment. It is shown that for Leibniz, chemistry is first and foremost iatrochemistry, or the study of chemistry insofar as it relates to medicine.

Keywords:   G. W. Leibniz, medicine, biology, chemistry, iatrochemistry

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