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Re: [pepysdiary] "Passions & Tempers: a history of the humours" -- NYT - 070/8/07

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  • Terry Foreman
    A very pertinent read, and nice graphic of the Four Humors (sic). Interesting that the shift of paradigm was prompted by the correction of anatomy, climaxing
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 7, 2007
      A very pertinent read, and nice graphic of the Four Humors (sic).

      Interesting that the shift of paradigm was prompted by the correction of
      anatomy, climaxing with Harvey's grasp of circulation of the blood and the
      heart's pumping (sounds like an Hobbesian mechanism to me!). (Cf.. Dr.
      Burnett's ref of a Pepysian ulcer.)

      "The death knell of Galen’s authority had been sounded, and indeed the
      death knell of the acceptance of any form of technological authority not
      supported by the researcher’s own reproducible observations and the proofs
      that followed from them. The scientific method had been born. And yet, it
      would be almost three centuries before clinical physicians — though
      overwhelmed by evidence of its error — could bring themselves to forsake
      therapies based on the last vestiges of the theory of humors."

      The review does not record whether Arikha mentions that recently-popular
      Ayurveda medicine alternative medicine holds that "health exists when there
      is a balance between three fundamental bodily humours or doshas...."
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayurveda#Tridosha_System

      Back to the future.

      Thanks, Michael.

      Terry
      aka Terry F

      At 07:51 PM 7/7/2007 +0000, you wrote:
      >Bad Medicine By SHERWIN B. NULAND
      >Published: July 8, 2007
      >
      >Noga Arikha's "Passions and Tempers" illustrates some of the rewards
      >and some of the pitfalls of historical scholarship. To Arikha's
      >immense credit, she provides a thoroughly documented account of the
      >ways in which a wrong-headed theory dominated medical thinking for
      >more than 2,000 years, refusing to yield place at the bedside long
      >after it had been proved erroneous by clear-eyed observation and the
      >development of experimental science. One of Arikha's contributions to
      >the general reader's knowledge, in fact, is to use the history of the
      >humors — those bodily fluids once thought to hold the key to
      >understanding human health and personality — to demonstrate the
      >difficulty that physicians have always had in giving up outmoded ways
      >of treating actual patients.
      >
      >http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/08/books/review/Nuland.html?8bu=&emc=bu&pagewanted=all
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
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