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Master Thesis

L'homme, les fluides et la vie. Physique, médecine et universalisme au coeur des années Mesmer

Abstract : During the Franz Anton Mesmer affaire (1778-1785), France lay in a scientific move where the universalism within play the main character. The modern science of those eighties, mainly enhanced by electric physics, expressed by experimentations is inspired by Newton's ideas, offered to science in the Principia. Electric physics is composed and shown thanks to many experiences, repeated again and again to find universal behavior laws. The electrical fluid is one of the experience subject which fascinate savants of the XVIIIth always angry for scholarship and innovations.
The first part of this matter discusses the notion of electricity. Hence the way scientists apprehended this notion, First through Dictionaries and encyclopedias, widely spread at this time. This electrical science defined in popularizing works progress thanks of academics contests whose have seen the birth of great names like the Bertholon's abbot. The sources exploited for this work were mainly extracted from the two modern Encyclopedia and Brisson's dictionary, one of the last Nollet's abbot disciples, then taken from les "Nouvelles littéraires" which were presented at the end of each publication of the periodic from l'Académie des sciences: le Journal des savants.
The second part discusses the theories presented during this period and which explained the links and connections between living persons and fluids presents in the air. This invisible thing studied by these period savants is seen as a creator of vitals phenomena and as a link human and natural environment. The goal is to connect to a whole thanks to unsteady and subtle fluids. But Men cannot be passive in front of this new energy, using it to improve is fellow people health and therefore build a new medicine taking considering a non-divine invisible. Le Journal des savants was used as sources for this part, as well as Le Journal de médecine, and a work made by Pierre Bertholon de Saint-Lazard within he exposes his theories on electrical medicine.
Finally, the third part discusses a theory which has been eclipsed from sciences: the animal magnetism of Mesmer which made huge noise in the 1780's. This medicine recalling itself as universal, impassioning humble people as well as scientist/savants thanks to is innovation and the mystery emanating from it. Mesmer was also well known in Grenoble where he was invited a night of October 1785. Le Dauphiné, through is local newspaper, and other sources is an active place where Mesmer find a particular passion.
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Master Thesis
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 24, 2010 - 10:52:57 AM
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Guillaume Comparato. L'homme, les fluides et la vie. Physique, médecine et universalisme au coeur des années Mesmer. Histoire. 2010. ⟨dumas-00539158⟩



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