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Matters of ExchangeCommerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age$
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Harold J. Cook

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780300117967

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300117967.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Industry and Analysis

Industry and Analysis

(p.267) 7 Industry and Analysis
Matters of Exchange

Harold J. Cook

Yale University Press

This chapter shows how accurate description became the linchpin of the development of knowledge in medicine and natural history. For both description and analysis, investigators also adopted information acquired from the latest technologies of production. These methods sometimes also had unexpected consequences for the materials with which they worked, leading not only to more precise descriptive methods but to better tools of analysis. These methods, in turn, emerged from the activities of people engaged with the material world rather than from discourse and debate. The three examples that are presented here show how advances in anatomical knowledge came from new methods of preparing specimens, how a whole new world of life and form was discovered from the use of the single-lens microscope, and how new dietetic drinks such as tea were analyzed according to color indicators, which in turn emerged from the dyeing and bleaching industries.

Keywords:   accurate description, medicine, natural history, technologies of production, tools of analysis, material world, anatomical knowledge

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