Daniel Sennert on Poisons, Epilepsy, and Subordinate Forms

Perspectives on Science 19 (2):192-211 (2011)
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As Peter Niebyl has documented, one of the issues in which the Wittenberg-based physician and philosopher Daniel Sennert (1572–1637) departed from Paracelsus and his followers was the concept of disease. Paracelsus and some of his followers regarded diseases as real beings—so-called “disease-entities” (entia morbis) that can enter into the body of a living being and thereafter possess a clearly defined location in the affected organism. 1 For Sennert, such a view is a dangerous confusion between disease and its causes. According to him, causes of disease can be present in an organism without actually causing a disease (Sennert 1629, p. 253). Moreover, he shares the traditional Christian doctrine ..

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Andreas Blank
Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt


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