Chapter

Thales' Trite Observation

Paul U. Unschuld

in What Is Medicine?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780520257658
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944701 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257658.003.0007
Thales' Trite Observation

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Medicine in the Eastern Mediterranean emerged against the backdrop of a historically older healing. Medicine in the Eastern Mediterranean needed as a precondition science, an idea that there are inherent laws independent of place, time, and person. The development of such a science in ancient Greece preceded the development of medicine. It is very difficult to explain why science developed in the first place and what stimulated individual thinkers to try to explain the course and changes of things rationally, without falling back on myth. Heribert Illig, a historian of art, has proposed the provocative thesis stating that three centuries in the Early Middle Ages, from about 610 to 910, are purely a calendar forgery of the High Middle Ages. If this view is true, then the writing of at least the main part of the book by Guanzi would fall in the sixth century bc and Guanzi's teachings found their way from East Asia to Asia Minor.

Keywords: older healing; precondition science; development of medicine; Early Middle Ages; laws of nature

Chapter.  2216 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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