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Vanessa Heggie

training courses, actors in both the medical and sporting spheres were still able to identify some practices as novel or innovative, others as old-fashioned or traditional, and yet more as scientific or mere quackery. What this chapter will go on to show is that both philosophical and physiological theories constrained and informed the construction of sports medicine; these ideas were part of the shared values and liberal education of a generation of middle-class men who, as doctors or amateur athletes, contributed to an understanding of the athletic body in the early

in A history of British sports medicine
Medicine and the world of letters
Michael Brown

Providence and because: To understand the general principles of natural philosophy is highly ornamental to the physician, for without a knowledge of these (which is by no means difficult to be attained) no man can pass through life in the character of a gentleman.9 Withers’ work suggests that a broad liberal education, embracing polite and ornamental knowledge, was central to a late eighteenth-century culture of medicine in which gentility and social inclusion were paramount concerns. He was not alone in his opinions. His mentor, John Gregory, had told his students that

in Performing medicine
Abstract only
Politeness, sociability and the culture of medico-gentility
Michael Brown

served as a potent tool of social and cultural distinction, one whose attributes were regarded as the preserve of the social elite.59 Some practitioners stood closer to the values of politeness and gentility than others. Physicians were at a particular advantage in having attended university. Even at Edinburgh, where specifically medical forms of instruction were more common than at Oxford and Cambridge, medical students would have received a broad liberal education and would be expected to have a reasonably thorough knowledge of the liberal arts and the classics

in Performing medicine