This project (2018-1-ES01-KA203-050606) has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Educational Material



Unit 4 - The Relation of Philosophy and Medicine in Antiquity

University of Thessaloniki (EL)

1.2 Learning Objectives
  • To bring out and explain to students that medicine was not and has not been always in the state of progress it is today.
  • To show to students what was medicine‚Äôs initial form.
  • To explain the purely theological character that medicine had at the very beginning.
  • To underline the first form of medicine which was entirely practical, treatment of wounds of the warriors in the war and purification of whole towns from plagues.
  • To show the philosophical stage of medicine and to explain why medicine was not purely theoretical as philosophy is.
  • To bring out how the separation of medicine from philosophy occurred and in what way Hippocrates contributed to it.
  • To explain the kind of complex method that medicine employs in Aristotelian terms: theory, practice and practical wisdom.
  • To underline that medicine even though it has become autonomous, still keeps some relations with philosophy.
  • To show how philosophy in its anthropological period has influenced in a particular way medicine.
  • To explain how out of ethical philosophy that developed mainly in the 5th and 4th centuries, and its relation with medicine arose the branch of philosophy usually known as medical ethics or medical deontology.
  • To make students realize the universal character of knowledge and start thinking of medical knowledge as part of universal knowledge.
  • To appreciate the holistic approach that the ancient physicians practiced, which meant that the physician cannot cure the particular organ if he can now make sure that the whole body is in good health.
  • To show students how the modern era of over-specialization misses the holistic approach to health and disease, when the contemporary physicians attempt to treat the particular part of the body that suffers without paying notice at all of the whole body.

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