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  • Medicine as a Hunt: Searching for the Secrets of the New World

    William Eamon

    Chapter from the book: Black C. & Álvarez M. 2019. Renaissance Futurities: Science, Art, Invention.


    This chapter, written by William Eamon, explores a key harbinger of modernity appearing in the Renaissance: the invention of the idea of scientific discovery. The essay explores one side of that innovation by examining the emergence of the idea of medicine as a hunt for novel cures and, correspondingly, of science as a hunt for secrets of nature. America provided ample unexplored territory for natural history; there, the hunt for nature’s secrets bore fruit in the work of Iberian naturalists such as Francisco Hernández and Jesuit missionaries such as José de Acosta. The metaphor of the hunt, which permeated scientific discourse in the Renaissance, crafted a new understanding of scientific discovery.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Eamon, W. 2019. Medicine as a Hunt: Searching for the Secrets of the New World. In: Black C. & Álvarez M (eds.), Renaissance Futurities. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.79.g

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    Published on Oct. 15, 2019