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Pharmacologia - Fourth American, from the Seventh London Edition
AN ANALYTICAL INQUIRY INTO THE MORE REMARKABLE CAUSES WHICH HAVE, IN DIFFERENT AGES AND COUNTRIES, OPERATED IN PRODUCING THE REVOLUTIONS THAT CHARACTERISE THE HISTORY OF MEDICINAL SUBSTANCES. Before I proceed to discuss the particular views which I am prepared to submit to the College, on the important but obscure subject of medicinal combination, I propose to take a sweeping and rapid sketch of the different moral and physical causes which have operated in producing the extraordinary vicissitudes, so eminently characteristic of the history of Materia Medica. Such an introduction is naturally suggested by the first glance at the extensive and motly assemblage of substances with which our cabinets are overwhelmed. It is impossible to cast our eyes over such multiplied groups, without being forcibly struck with the palpable absurdity of somethe total want of activity in manyand the uncertain and precarious reputation of allor, without feeling an eager curiosity to enquire, from the combination of what causes it can have happened, that substances, at one period in the highest esteem, and of generally acknowledged utility, have fallen into total neglect and disrepute;why others, of humble pretensions and little significance, have maintained their ground for so many centuries; and on what account, materials of no energy whatever, have received the indisputable sanction and unqualified support of the best and wisest practitioners of the age. That such fluctuations in opinion and versatility in practice should have produced, even in the most candid and learned observers, an unfavourable impression with regard to the general efficacy of medicines, can hardly excite our astonishment, much less our indignation; nor can we be surprised to find, that another portion of mankind has at once arraigned Physic as a fallacious 4art, or derided it as a composition of error and fraud. They askand it must be confessed that they ask with reasonwhat pledge can be afforded them, that the boasted remedies of the present day will not, like their predecessors, fall into disrepute, and in their turn serve only as humiliating memorials of the credulity and infatuation of the physicians who commended and prescribed them? There is surely no question connected with our subject which can be more interesting and important, no one which requires a more cool and dispassionate inquiry, and certainly not any which can be more appropriate for a lecture, introductory to the history of Materia Medica. I shall therefore proceed to examine with some attention the revolutions which have thus taken place in the opinions and belief of mankind, with regard to the efficacy and powers of different medicinal agents; such an inquiry, by referring them to causes capable of a philosophical investigation, is calculated to remove many of the unjust prejudices which have been excited, to quiet the doubts and alarms which have been so industriously propagated, and, at the same time, to obviate the recurrence of several sources of error and disappointment. This moral view of events, without any regard to chronological minuti, may be denominated the Philosophy of History, and should be carefully distinguished from that technical and barren erudition, which consists in a mere knowledge of names and dates, and which is perused by the medical student with as much apathy, and as little profit, as the monk counts his bead-roll. It has been very justly observed, that there is a certain maturity of the human mind, acquired from generation to generation, in the mass, as there is in the different stages of life, in the individual man; what is history, when thus philosophically studied, but the faithful record of this progress? pointing out for our instruction the various causes which have retarded or accelerated it in different ages and countries. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 62958
Author: Beck, John B. (John Brodhead)
Release Date: Aug 17, 2020
Contributor (Author): Paris, John Ayrton, 1785-1856
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