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September 12, 1942

Hippocratic Medicine: Its Spirit and Method

Author Affiliations

By William Arthur Heidel. Cloth. Price, $2. Pp. 149. New York: Columbia University Press, 1941.

JAMA. 1942;120(2):164. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830370076036

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The name of Hippocrates is revered in scientific medicine not so much for any actual scientific discovery but for having established principles of thought which continued to guide medical science to our modern times. The eminent historian Heidel presents in this book a philosophic consideration of the hippocratic contribution and of its evolution from the mysticism that preceded it. It is taken for granted that the hippocratic writings are not the work of one person. The true significance of hippocratic medicine, according to Heidel, "lies in the circumstance that it is the expression of an age of incomparable importance in the intellectual life of the race." It laid the foundations of modern science. Most important of all was the introduction of exact observation as the basis for medical practice.

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