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Weidenhammer, Erich.
Providence and respiration :medicine in Joseph Priestley's early publications on airs.
M.A. -- Dalhousie University, 2007
Ottawa :Library and Archives Canada = Bibliothè€que et Archives Canada,[2008]
2 microfiches
Includes bibliographical references.
Priestley's early work in pneumatic chemistry, published in 1772, is a valuable source for a critical turning point in his career. These texts offer clues to Priestley's motives for studying "airs". This thesis argues that his pneumatic investigations continued and reaffirmed existing experimental projects that were medical in nature. These earlier projects can be considered part of the "environmentalist" movement in British medicine which, breaking with humeral doctrine, looked to eternal explanations for human health and disease. Medicine is, therefore, a perspective point from which to study Priestley's pneumatic experiments. Priestley's aerial research was intended to produce both useful technologies (his nitrous air test and his artificial mineral water), as well as theoretical insight into the broadly-defined systems of a benevolent creation (his so-called aerial doctrine). Both were manifestations of his theology which saw humanity advancing towards a "rational" Christianity. For Priestley, religion and medical experiment were essentially related.
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