Author(s): Lee CK, Lee NM
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Abstract Authors studied how Claude Bernard, the first founder of experimental medicine, contributed significantly to establishment of modernism and influenced European modern culture. Authors first studied his views on modernity, comparing with Descartes and Magendie, and on the similarity between "Experimental medicine" and the European literature in the 19th century. Bernard was not exclusively against vitalism, but the dogmatic misuse of vitalism. His objective thinking could be a useful model for the authors, who considered science to be an origin of modernity in literature of naturalism. Especially, Emile Zola was strongly influenced by Bernard's "An introduction to the study of Experimental medicine" and published "Experimental novel," a manifesto of naturalism. Although Bernard's experimental methodology and determinism deeply influenced modern European culture, the relationship between his Experimental medicine and modernism have not been fully investigated yet. His experimental medicine also needs to be discussed from the ecological viewpoints. His anthropo-centrism was unique since he emphasized any human theory could not surpass the principle of nature. Conventional anthropo-centrism claims that human beings are superior enough to own and govern the nature. And Bernard's the necessary determinism contains the ecological principle that all life forms and inanimate objects are organically related and intertwined to each other, irrespectively of their usefulness for the human beings. Although there were some ethical debates related to his medical experiments on living bodies of animal, his strict principle to perform experiments only after animal or human body died was worth considering as an effort to sustain ecological viewpoints. He was also unique in terms of being realistic and candid about his situation which was limited by the 19th century's scientific and medical development. In conclusion, the significance of convergence of literature and medical science in Experimental medicine and the importance of Bernard's ecological viewpoints, need to be further studied in the field of medical history.
This article was published in Uisahak
and referenced in Biological Systems: Open Access