The status of names, even the of names of diseases, is subject of much controversy. Are names mere pragmatical conventions? Are they relicts of former magical relations between name and thing? Analysing cholera discussions in nineteenth-century medicine, this article illustrates how the posession of the name gave power over the disease. This magical aura of names is not just a premodern relict. but is generated permanently anew in modern science.
|Olaf Briese: Namenszauber||199|