Practicing Chemistry “After the Hippocratical Manner”: Hippocrates and the Importance of Chemistry for Boerhaave's Medicine

  • Rina Knoeff
Part of the Archimedes New Studies In The History And Philosophy Of Science and Technology book series (ARIM, volume 18)

It is well known that Herman Boerhaave, the eighteenth-century “instructor of all of Europe” (communis Europae praeceptor), was an ardent supporter of Hippocrates. While historians have discussed Boerhaave’s veneration for Hippocrates as the “Father of Medicine” before, it is less known that Boerhaave also recommended practicing chemistry “after the Hippocratical manner.” Boerhaave’s advice is remarkable since chemistry is alien to the Hippocratic writings. What, I ask in this paper, did Boerhaave mean when speaking about the “Hippocratical manner” and why did he make this method central to his chemistry? What in the Hippocratic corpus was of particular use in the chemical laboratory that attracted Boerhaave? How did Hippocrates function as an essential connection between Boerhaave’s chemistry and medicine?


Seventeenth Century Individual Power Natural Philosopher Vital Force Human Intellect 
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  • Rina Knoeff

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