Chapter

Which Model Image for a New Medicine?

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/9780520257658.003.0053
Which Model Image for a New Medicine?

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This chapter addresses the issue of transference of philosophical knowledge of nature developed in a polis democracy onto the clerical and feudal structures of the Middle Ages. It also looks at if the thoughts of Aristotle, Plato, or Plotinus can simply be brought into the intellectual world of the French nobility or the awakening bourgeoisie of Italian city-states. Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola, the Italian humanist and philosopher, included Persian, orpheistic, and kabbalistic teachings in his personal syncretism. A convincing model image was missing from the real and ideal structures of society for medicine. Numerous professors and students looked into countless corpses. They carefully cut out heart, lungs, kidneys, tendons, muscles, and whatever else they found. They held it all up and looked at it from all sides and they found that the body itself possesses no power of expression.

Keywords: polis democracy; Middle Ages; medicine; power of expression; structures of the body

Chapter.  819 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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