Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Sydenham's disease entities

Sydenham presented himself as a pure empiricist. Taylor argues that Sydenham had unacknowledged allegiance to platonic ideal forms as the basis of an ontology. This would not be Hippocratic, as Hippocratics were only interested in the description of individual patients not the generalization of such descriptions into disease types. It would seem that this ontology was present in his botanic classification of diseases. Pinel picked up both the classification and the descriptive method.  

F. Kraupl Taylor {Psychological medicine, 12 (1982)243-250] The similarity of Sydenham to Hippocrates has been overstated. "Hippocratic doctors had remained largely focused on individual patients, their case histories and prognoses. They were less interested in considering similarities of symptoms among their patients or in deriving from such similarities the theoretical view that some disease entity accounted for them. ...Hippocratics insisted on the uniqueness of the individual patient." Sydenham aimed at a transformation of case-histories, or pathographies, into disease histories or nosographies.

certain substantial forms were responsible for the spontaneous generation of life. It was not until 1860 that Pasteur finally disproved the occurrence of spontaneous generation.

[ordered from annex] L. J.  Rather (1959) Towards a philosophical study of the idea of disease. in The Historical Development of Physiological thought (ed. C. M. Brooks and P. E
Cranefield pp. 351-373 Hafner, New York.
[ordered from IlliadMeyer, A (1929) The tradition of ancient biology and medicine in the vitalistic periods of modern biology and medicine. Bulletin of the Institute of the History of medicine 5, 800-821. Article Request Received. Transaction Number 704480

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