Essentialism in Context

Is there anything left to be said about essentialism in the history of medicine and science? After all, the belief thathuman beings possess innate qualities according to their race, gender, or other characteristics has done incalculable harm in the modern age. But essentialism in medicine and science has a history, argues Lisa Forman Cody-one that we shouldn't ignore in our teaching, even as we continue to help our students analyze the construction of race and gender. Anatomy chart from Charles Mills and A.H.P. Leuf, Our Bodies (1887). Courtesy of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, Historical Collections and Services, University of Virginia.


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