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249 - Week 7 – Lecture 1 - Ancient vs. Modern Western Medicine.docx

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HIST 249
Faith Wallis

Week 7 – Lecture 1 History 249 – Health and the Healer in the Western World Ancient vs. Modern Medicine in the Western World – 15/10/2013 Transitory Lecture (section from Lecture 1) Introduction to Western Modern Medicine - what is it? How did it develop? BUT first – where are we in the history of modern medicine?? - 1500 onwards or so = actually a very little amount of time! o Wallis spoke of the Scientific Revolution = modern starts with the Enlightenment? o Then there are different frameworks re. illness and making sense of it e.g. religious paradigm = different from the Greek paradigm = the religious paradigm doesn’t really go away  Layers of different frameworks are piled upon each other  The Craft paradigm = medicine as a craft and occupation: different from the roles of the priests = separation from religion – ancient Egypt!  Then the philosophical paradigm = ancient Greeks  called the philosophic paradigm because it is the application of philosophical models to the practice of medicine esp. Aristotle’s teleology and its use in explaining the body’s structure and functions o Scholarly paradigm from the MiddleAges onwards = scholasticism as a way of managing knowledge which then forces the reconciliation of contradictions = a medical tradition that started with theAncient Greeks and can therefore be called Western medicine - has it’s own characteristics and in many ways is one tradition although it changes a lot! - use of the same texts over centuries – even mille▯nHippocrates and Galen - continuity of approaches also  same authorities are referred to repeatedly and even Galen used Hippocrates as an authority  newer approaches as very much based on older ones = a line of tradition that was actively cultivated and produced consciously o it was useful to invoke an ancient authority = every period has it’s own Hippocrates  selective way of appropriating what Hippocrates wrote/what has been passed on as the Hippocratic tradition - specific kind of medicine that exists nowhere else in the world though it has spread o as an old tradition it kind of provided the possibilities for modern medicine  continues this tradition in many ways e.g. Vesalius • in some ways he was a revolutionary but he also did continue the tradition o attempt to resurrect Galen in himself Continuities (between traditional and modern western medicine): - Anatomy ▯ structure of the body considered even for medical purposes; assumption that structures of the body are crucial for medical understanding; structures can be determined by consideration of the dead body o Was introduced by theAncient Greeks and stabilised over the centuries – Galen, MiddleAges: dissection was revived and also EM period – 16thC – Vesalius and then Harvey’s anatomical approach o Dissection is very specific – opening up dead bodies and finding information there o Change in terms of magnification – organs, then cells, then sub-cellular structure but structure remains key - Diagnosis, prognosis  diagnosis = trying to understand what is wrong witb body by reading symptoms and then naming the problem by comparing it with the symptoms of other people; prognosis = future – telling the patient what they can expect in the path of the disease e.g. it is uncurable o Crucial in western medicine in ancient times, but still relevant today - Problem of disease as a specific adversity – all kinds of catastrophes can happen to one; this is the notion that disease is different from other catastrophes… o Disease is seen as a particular kind of adversity - there are specific patterns of thinking for classifying disease o ontological approach – disease is a thing in the world e.g. species, that can be separated from the human body  bacteriological approach e.g. TB  infection – person can get something from someone else as a pattern that is found in western medicine o vs. the physiological approach looks at the individual’s body and sees what has gone wrong there…  disease is a process within the body - disease is accessible to rational thought and empirical research – based on a system of universally valid knowledge; system e.g. Sciencia in the middleAges and techne – consistency of skill and regulation of rules based on cause and effect; product can be evaluated rationally
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