Chapter published in:Late Modern English Medical Texts: Writing medicine in the eighteenth century. Including the LMEMT Corpus
Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Turo Hiltunen
[Not in series 221] 2019
► pp. 17–30
Chapter 2Sociohistorical and cultural context of Late Modern English Medical Texts
The eighteenth century presents as a transition period towards more modern practices in medical history. In this chapter we probe into these developments as reflected in medical writing and provide a sociohistorical overview of the background for the corpus. When compared to the earlier phases of medical writing in England, the sheer number of texts in the vernacular grew enormously while readerships with the ability to read and learn about medical issues widened, making it possible for medical knowledge to reach new layers of society. The ways of writing science were also changing: the beginning of the Royal Society period had been a period of innovation in cutting-edge science in communicating new discoveries. These practices continue in the learned circles, but polite society favoured more rhetorical styles, and the scholastic tradition was also present. According to our (socio)pragmatic approach, we focus on variation in texts to different audiences, and all observations are contextualized with qualitative discourse analysis. Significant changes were taking place both in the underlying philosophy of science and its applications, e.g. statistical assessments emerged, paving the way to evidence-based medicine.
- 1.Towards a diachronic view of medical thought styles
- 2.Changes in eighteenth-century medical writing in England
- 3.Medical communication, literacy, and vernacularization
- 4.Authors and audiences
- 5.Royal Society guidelines versus polite society styles
Published online: 04 December 2019
Cited by 1 other publications
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