Empiricism and common sense: the management of public health in the Kingdom of Sicily (1575-1860)

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Abstract

The research outlines the evolution of the public health management system in the Kingdom ofSicily between the second half of the 16th century and the first half of the 19th century, emphasizing the specificfeatures of the Sicilian case and highlighting the possible causes. It frames the evolution of public healthinstitutions in Sicily both in the process of centralization and organization of the administrative apparatus ofmodern State, and in the development of medical theories concerning contagion. Through the analysis of thelegislation and of the documentation produced by the competent bodies, it has been proved that there is nobreak in continuity in the activity of the various institutions that manage public health along the time spaninvestigated. Special attention is devoted to the role of doctors within these institutions and to the relationshipwith medical science. The analysis shows that the competent bodies based their choices on an empiricalapproach, making prudential choices that took into account both the miasmatic theory and the contagionisttheory.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)12-19
Numero di pagine8
RivistaMedicina Historica
Volume4
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2020

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