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Lecture 6

HISTORY 70F Lecture 6: Pluralism in Greece and Rome

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History 70F Lecture 6 Pluralism in Greek and Roman Medicine Learned Medicine • Hippocratic medicine did not have a monopoly over learned medicine – medicine studied by scholars • Dogmatists o Competing school of thought o Believed that we must search for the hidden cause of disease. Can’t just be familiar with the obvious evident causes of disease. We need to know the underlying mechanics of the human body o “Thinkers, not doers”- can only understand the hidden causes of diseases is by engaging in abstract thinking. Did not really go out spending time with patients • Empiricists o Practical experience > theory ▪ Only way to understand disease is through practical experience -> treating patients ▪ Does not matter what causes the disease, what matters is what treats it • Methodists o Rejected theory; privileged common sense o Theory of atoms and pores – rejected the 4 humor theory ▪ Believed that illness is caused by abnormal circulation of atoms through your pores • Pneumatists o Pneuma causes illness Plurality of Healing Practices • Learned medicine o Minority of practitioners • Most practitioners were: o Druggists o Religious, magic healers o Surgeons/lithotomists o Phlebotomist o Masseuses and dietician o Midwives ▪ Not concerned trained • Why choose a learned practitioner when the other practitioners know more about what to do? o Socioeconomic class – doctor for upper-class Lower Class Healing • Daily struggle for survival o Malnutrition o Unsanitary con
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