02-med&res - Perspectives on Science and the History of...

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Perspectives on Science and the History of Medicine “They are shallow animals, having always employed their minds about Body and Gut, they imagine that in the whole system of things there is nothing but Gut and Body.” Samuel Taylor Coleridge on doctors (1796)
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What is medicine? “… the science and art of preventing, alleviating, and curing disease” Its goal: Health = “the condition of being sound in body, mind, or soul; especially freedom from physical disease or pain”
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Science = the investigation of rational concepts capable of being tested by observation and experimentation Distinguished by the analytical method observation experimentation and both inductive and deductive logic
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Science creates hypotheses Possible explanations of the observed phenomena must be “heuristic” limits itself to the physical universe tests allow us to “reject” an hypothesis All science advances by the rejection of hypotheses. There is no such thing as proof.
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Hypotheses Proximate explanations “what” or “how” questions Ultimate explanations “why” questions
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02-med&res - Perspectives on Science and the History of...

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