juniorg8.com 2005.11.12Hippocrates On old Medicine. Interpreted with arrival and Commentary. Studies in old Medicine, 28

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Hippocrates., mark John Schiefsky, On ancient medicine. Studies in old medicine, v. 28. Leiden: Brill, 2005. 1 online resource (415 pages) : illustrations.. ISBN 9781429426930 €118.00.

The Hippocratic treatise On old Medicine ( VM) is vital document because that the study of method in early science. Historians of philosophy have been an especially attracted to it since of its relevance to the 3rd century B.C. Controversy in between Empiricists and also Rationalists. But, together Schiefsky’s study aptly shows, an important difference off the Hippocratic author from his Hellenistic successors, specific that, unlike the latter, the former is not concerned with the epistemological concern of the origins and nature of knowledge in general, but with the question of what an approach can command to helpful medical knowledge. This difference also marks the distance between the Hippocratic author and Plato, whose arguments in the Gorgias have regularly been connected with those in VM. Follow to S., any attempt to place VM in relation to the paper definition of Plato’s conversation in the Gorgias is doomed come failure: the opposition in between techne and also empeiria, i beg your pardon underlies Plato’s text, is completely foreign to the Hippocratic author, who, along the currently of pre-Platonic tradition, associates the build-up of experience with techne, and opposes techne to tyche. Since the hatchet “empiricist” in the background of ideology presupposes an epistemological worry but likewise a dispute that is absent from VM, scholars have been wake up to describe its author as an empiricist,1 and S. Carefully prevents entering into this discussion in his introduction. On the other hand, “a sustained examination that the author’s argument, totally free of presuppositions around his identity and intellectual affiliations” (p. 4), choose the one S. Provides, provides us understanding into the kind of thinking that prevailed before Plato’s Socrates released his assault on Polus’ defence the the worth of experience ( Gorgias 448C6-7, quoted through S. ~ above p. 347).

The publication is divided into an extensive introduction, text and translation, commentary (here comments because that each thing are preceded by a beneficial brief reconstruction of the argument), two appendices (” VM and medical empiricism”, ” VM and also the imprecision that medicine”), bibliography and indices. What makes the introduction specifically valuable is the fact that S. Organizes it approximately questions that, based on the extant evidence, were necessary for the clinical authors, as opposed to concerns that contemporary readers have actually in mind when they approach VM.

The an initial section the his introduction, licensed has been granted “Background” deals with three such questions. In ” Techne and also tyche” S. Suggests that the author of VM and his opponents share a common conception that techne which entails an attention in diminishing tyche and also draws on evidence from other Hippocratic texts to present how and also to what extent different authors faced this opposition. Conversation of this proof is crucial not only for the college student of ancient medicine but likewise for philosophers who deserve to use it together background for the construal of later arguments concerning the opposition between tyche and design. S.’s analysis of the ide of techne is taken up, again with beneficial quotations, in the comment section, pp. 325-27.

Section 1.2 that the development deals v the challenging question that the relation between techne and also akribeia. S. Combines the proof from later philosophical messages (notably the Philebus) with previously evidence native poetry and drama, and also of food from the Hippocratic texts, in bespeak to assistance his check out that “by the end of the fifth century BC there had actually been emerged a prevalent conception the what could be called an exact techne“. S. Complies with up this concern with evidence from later on sources in his attachment on ” VM and also the imprecision the medicine”. Most crucial for the breakthrough of S.’s interpretation is his ar on “medicine and the ‘inquiry right into nature"”, wherein he provides evidence for the influence of peri physeos historia on early medical thought. This discussion forms the basis for a an important part the S.’s interpretation about the identification of the opponents of VM. Main to S.’s strategy is his debate that VM does no object to the usage of hypotheseis in general — in fact, that agrees the such steps are proper to the study of far objects, such together the heavens —, but to the use of hypotheseis where direct, “inductive” monitoring would be an ext appropriate. Related to this dispute is S.’s attention in early attempts at demarcation (and hence likewise definition) the the medical profession indigenous other areas of inquiry, such as cosmology and philosophy. Indeed, VM has one the the more quickly attestations of the substantive philosophie; S.’s prolonged comment ad loc. Is specifically enlightening.

In ar 3 of his introduction, S. Do the efforts to place the author in the more comprehensive intellectual paper definition of his time. S.’s conversation of the prominence of Sophistic culture accords with recent interpretations, despite those who space unfamiliar with brand-new developments in scholarship ~ above the Sophists would most likely welcome more background information and bibliography ~ above the subject. Of particular importance here are S.’s disagreements in assistance of his tip that ” VM to be intended for dental delivery” (p. 36), i beg your pardon of course raises the inquiry of who the audience the this and additionally of various other Hippocratic functions were. As to the inquiry of possible influence by other philosophers, S. Is skeptical. He suggests a variety of useful parallels, but, provided the big number of feasible candidates, he is reluctant to conclude that any particular author had actually a certain impact on our text. It because of this comes together no surprised that S. Does no follow Lloyd’s influential article “Who is assaulted in On ancient Medicine ?”,2 which argued that Philolaus, or other Pythagoreans affected by him, to be the targets that VM‘s criticism. Vice versa, Lloyd is interested in identify the prompt target of VM‘s “attack”, S. Uses proof from assorted texts the the Hippocratic Corpus and from the Anonymus Londinensis to display that the writer is no criticizing a certain text or thinker at all yet rather a general trend or tendency in the medicine of his time (p. 56). Both ideologies are legitimate, but what lends S. Higher plausibility is his watch that the target of the Hippocratic writer is no confined to those that have spoken or written around medicine. S.’s evaluation of the dental character that the Hippocratic text leads normally to his ide that graphike in chapter 20 need to be rendered as “the arts of writing” (instead the painting, which is embraced by both Jouanna and also Festugière top top the basis of the chapter’s relationship to Empedocles).

S.’s reading of the text is an especially careful and subtle. His understanding of the clinical writers permits him to protect against anachronisms and to reconstruct really helpful context because that our knowledge of the work. Thus, rather of simply answering the old questions about the message (such together “who is assaulted on ancient medicine?”, “who is the author of the text?”, or “what is the day of VM ?”) S. Points to their limits and also raises new ones which might prove stimulating for more research. The translate in is elegant and also at the same time close come the demanding Greek. The original text the prints is that of Jouanna, through occasional variations. Ns did no detect any kind of errors in the Greek, though there were some typos in the English.

S.’s publication is the an initial commentary the VM in English. The was came before by two important French studies, specific the editions, with introductions and also commentaries, by A.-J. Festugière (Paris, 1948) and J. Jouanna (1990, in the series of Les belles lettres). S. Acknowledges his debt to both, and also regards his work closest “in concerns and also spirit” to the previous (preface, p. X). In comparison come the earlier commentaries, S. Is much much more interested in place VM in the tradition of Greek philosophy. Moreover, given how he has benefited from study subsequent come Festugière but likewise has make substantial brand-new contributions of his own, one can see why this new publication will end up being a standard reference publication in the field.


1. See J. Cooper, “Method and science in On old Medicine”, in interpretation und Argument, ed. H. Linneweber-Lammerskitten and also G. Mohr, Würzburg: Königshaunsen and also Neumann, 2002. Reprinted in revised and expanded kind in Knowledge, Nature and the Good: Essays on old Philosophy. Princeton: Princeton college Press, 2004.

2. G.E.R.

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Lloyd, “Who is assaulted in On old Medicine?” Phronesis 8 (1963), repr. Through an arrival in Methods and Problems in Greek Science, Cambridge university Press, 1991.