Wesley D. Smith - The Hippocratic Tradition

Wesley D. Smith - The Hippocratic Tradition
Publisher: Cornell Univ Press | 1979-08 | ISBN: 0801412099 | File type: PDF | 264 pages | 5.55 mb

This book is concerned with thought about medicine, not with medical practice, and I have not addressed the subject of medical ethics as related to Hippocrates and the Oath. Particularly, I am interested in the creation of ways of thinking and talking about history, in modern and in ancient times. Traditions of interpretation are often most clearly recognizable for what they are when they are demonstrably wrong. Hence, there is considerable emphasis on aberrations that the Hippocratic tradition has produced. When the shape and substance of the tradition become clear, one can then accept what in it is worth accepting and learn much from the errors one is trying to overcome. I intend this book to serve as a prolegomenon to a new reading of the Hippocratic collection.
Hippocrates has been a hero to the people of several cultures. Consequently, his interpreters and admirers have emulated, or in some cases one is tempted to say imagined, in him qualities that reflected their own ideals. This present book comes out of my own need to make sense of the cacophony in the subject and to determine why Asclepiades, Rufus, Galen, Boerhaave, and Sprengel responded to him as they did, and whence came their passions on the subject. In the process I have tried to seek out and assess all relevant evidence relating to interpretations of Hippocrates. The several new theses I advance will, I hope, seem compelling in the perspective of the whole tradition.

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