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Marvels of MedicineLiterature and Scientific Enquiry in Early Colonial Spanish America$
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Yarí Pérez Marín

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789622508

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789622508.001.0001

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Contested medical knowledge and regional self-fashioning

Contested medical knowledge and regional self-fashioning

Chapter:
(p.117) Chapter 4 Contested medical knowledge and regional self-fashioning
Source:
Marvels of Medicine
Author(s):

Yarí Pérez Marín

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789622508.003.0005

Chapter 4 analyses Juan de Cárdenas’s Problemas y secretos maravillosos de las Indias in the context of the negative critiques it offered of two contemporaries who had written about New World medicine without leaving Spain: Nicolás Monardes and Oliva Sabuco. Cárdenas found fault with both Monardes's Historia medicinal (1565) and Sabuco's Nveva filosofia de la naturaleza del hombre (1587) identifying flaws in the cause-and-effect reasoning espoused by each source and providing examples that arrived at different results. But Cárdenas’s medical challenge, articulated on scientific principle, belied a growing unease about the marginal status conferred to locally published scholarly efforts in the larger global stage of scientific enquiry; Monardes was keenly interested in New World bezoars especially whereas Sabuco’s ideas on digestion rested on her observations of the quick effects of ingesting coca leaves from Peru. By adopting an oppositional model of refutation that anchored itself on a geographically and culturally determined group identity, Cárdenas’s writing began mounting a challenge to the unequal distribution of epistemological authority in transatlantic colonial hierarchies.

Keywords:   Juan de Cardenas, Nicolas Monardes, Oliva Sabuco, Francisco Ximenez, Francisco Hernandez, criollos, peninsulares, epistemology, coloniality, identity

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