Chapter

The Division of the Elite

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/9780520257658.003.0015
The Division of the Elite

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This chapter focuses on a radical breakthrough into the knowledge of new medicine. It happened in antiquity, when technical media were still quite limited. All body processes had to be visible from the outside by looking at color changes of the skin or tongue, by smelling odors of the body or mouth, by listening to the pitch of the voice, or by feeling the pulse. Only the patient had the opportunity to look inside himself or herself and could communicate feelings spontaneously or at the request of an observer. Medical imaging allows for the observing of the live functioning of a heart valve, on a monitor. One can accurately depict details of cell division and many other processes. But even today, the most fundamental level of the causality of many changes remains hidden from view. People have developed completely different views on new medicine despite having the same object of study, such as the healthy or sick person.

Keywords: new medicine; technical media; feeling the pulse; medical imaging; cell division; expressive power of the body

Chapter.  709 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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