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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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Medicine Independent of Theology

Medicine Independent of Theology

74 Medicine Independent of Theology
What Is Medicine?

Paul U. Unschuld

University of California Press

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

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