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Medical Library Editorials
March 21, 1964


JAMA. 1964;187(12):946-947. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060250064016

Do physicians in their thought processes differ from other persons? Is there anything peculiar about medicine that renders it unusually susceptible to error? Is there any particular relationship, either direct or inverse, between logic and medicine?

"Logic" is not easy to define. The word is often loosely used. For example, the term "feminine logic" describes that sex-linked process whereby conclusions emerge from premises in a fashion not intelligible to the masculine mind. A rather different usage inheres in the phrase "medical logic," suggesting as it does some special mode of thought that characterizes medical activity. In 1819 Gilbert Blane published a book with this title.1 In 1855 the same title2 again appeared in the literature, this time emphasizing the application of the inductive method to medical problems. Claude Bernard's classic text on the principles of experimental medicine stressed the application of logic to medical research.

While no warrant

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