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The making of a famous nineteenth century neurologist: Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893)

Brais, Bernard; (1990) The making of a famous nineteenth century neurologist: Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893). Masters thesis (M.Phil), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The setting of this thesis is the medical world of Paris in the second half of the nineteenth century. This essay answers the question of how Jean-Martin Charcot became famous. In placing Charcot s career in its historical context, it provides an analysis of the strategies used by him to ensure his status as one of the most famous French physicians of the latter half of the nineteenth century. It presents a study of two important chapters of the history of French academic medicine, placing both in the conceptual framework of the transition between knowledge and power. It discusses the youth and early careers of Charcot and his medical ally Alfred Vulpian (1826-1887). It analyses the increasing influence of the members of the Societe de Biologie' in the medical world of Paris, suggesting that the Society served as a forum for young ambitious physicians such as Charcot who wanted French medicine to be reformed into a bonafide science. It shows that when the take over by the members of the "Societe de Biologie" of the Medical Faculty of Paris was completed by the mid 1870's, conflicting individual aspirations started to surface and cause profound divisions in the previously cohesive group. It analyses how Charcot was able to successfully break ahead of many of his colleagues. It shows Charcot at the zenith of his fame during the 1880's. Finally Charcot s rapid decline in the early 1890's is reviewed. In summary, this thesis analyses how Charcot, due to the successful scientific reform of French medicine, was able to become one of the most famous physicians of the nineteenth century.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Qualification: M.Phil
Title: The making of a famous nineteenth century neurologist: Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Charcot, Jean-Martin
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10124144
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