Elektryczny „zabobon”? Mesmeryzm wobec praktyk instytucjonalnych i naukowych Uniwersytetu Wileńskiego (1816-1818)

Piotr Urbanowicz


The paper focuses on practices in medicine conducted by the authorities of Vilnius University at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The author analyzes institutional and scientific meaning of these practices, claiming that they are main reason for emerging animal magnetism in Vilnius. Emerging of mesmerism was caused first of all by depersonalizing medical treatment and secondly by peculiar interpretation of electricity as a vital force. The author shows that the latter was common for mesmerists and scientific establishments and thus mesmerists proved the credibility of their science. Therefore he states that animal magnetism in polish culture should not be consider as an epidemic of irrational pseudoscience, but rather a logical consequence of the biopolitical and scientific practices of University.

Słowa kluczowe: Vilnius University, animal magnetism, medicine, electricity, science and technology studies

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