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What Is Medicine?Western and Eastern Approaches to Healing$
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Paul Unschuld

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257658

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257658.001.0001

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Thales' Trite Observation

Thales' Trite Observation

7 Thales' Trite Observation
What Is Medicine?

Paul U. Unschuld

University of California Press

Medicine in the Eastern Mediterranean emerged against the backdrop of a historically older healing. Medicine in the Eastern Mediterranean needed as a precondition science, an idea that there are inherent laws independent of place, time, and person. The development of such a science in ancient Greece preceded the development of medicine. It is very difficult to explain why science developed in the first place and what stimulated individual thinkers to try to explain the course and changes of things rationally, without falling back on myth. Heribert Illig, a historian of art, has proposed the provocative thesis stating that three centuries in the Early Middle Ages, from about 610 to 910, are purely a calendar forgery of the High Middle Ages. If this view is true, then the writing of at least the main part of the book by Guanzi would fall in the sixth century bc and Guanzi's teachings found their way from East Asia to Asia Minor.

Keywords:   older healing, precondition science, development of medicine, Early Middle Ages, laws of nature

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