Chapter

Medicine Independent of Theology

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/9780520257658.003.0074
Medicine Independent of Theology

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British physician's journal Lancet proclaimed in 1850: “Medicine Independent of Theology.” The decisions makers focused on two factors, the reliability and reproducibility of knowledge during that era. Reliability means one can be sure that this knowledge provides many answers now, and one can be just as sure that this knowledge will provide even more answers in the future. Reproducibility means one can ask the question everywhere in the world, in every situation, and the answers are always the same. The knowledge of chemistry, physics, and technology began to change the living environment. It accompanied the Europeans on their expeditions out into the world and, being reliable and reproducible, assisted in subjecting foreign people to European rule. It was natural that the new medicine had to be built solely on this foundation. In chemistry and physics, functions and processes could be explained in this era. A single view of the body and the functions of its organism, in healthy as in sick days, founded on natural laws, in Greek antiquity, pushed itself into the foreground.

Keywords: new medicine; European rule; natural laws; Greek antiquity; morphology; medicine

Chapter.  546 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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