Publisher Information: London: W. Strahan & T. Cadell, 1770.
Gregory, John (1724-73). Observations on the duties and offices of a physician; and on the method of prosecuting enquiries in philosophy. 8vo. viii, 182pp. London: Printed for W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, 1770. 206 x 128 mm. Full calf, gilt-ruled spine, leather label by Alexander Milne of Forres, Scotland (1780-1849), with his stamp on the front pastedown; some rubbing and wear especially to the spine. Minor toning but very good. Armorial bookplate of the library at Cullen House, Banffshire, Scotland, seat of the Earls of Seafield.
First Edition of “the first philosophical, secular medical ethics in the English language” (McCullough, p. 6). This work is very rare on the market; this is the first copy we have handled in 50-plus years.
Gregory, a professor of medicine at the University of Edinburgh, was “the first in the English-language literature to employ philosophical methods to address ethical challenges in medicine and to do so in a self-consciously secular fashion . . . In doing so, Gregory invented philosophical, secular medical ethics as it is now practiced more than two centuries later in the United States and other countries around the world . . . Gregory also laid the conceptual, secular foundations for the profession of medicine as an intellectual and moral enterprise” (ibid.). “By applying moral sense theory to medical ethics, Gregory not only formulated the first modern theory of medical ethics, he also created the ideal, still very much alive, of the humanistic physician whose effectiveness derives as much from an empathetic understanding of illness as from medical science” (Baker, p. 863). Baker, “The history of medical ethics,” in Bynum and Porter, eds., Companion Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine, 2, ch. 37. Garrison-Morton.com 8132.Book Id: 45017