June 1955

The Conception of Disease: Its History, Its Version and Its Nature.

Author Affiliations

By Walther Riese. Price, $3.75. Pp. 120. Philosophical Library, Inc., 15 E. 40th St., New York 16, 1953.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;89(6):767. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1955.02050110907015

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This book represents a scholarly presentation of man's concepts of disease from the Stoic down to the present time.

The Stoic denial of tragedy as being able to injure his soul, the Platonic cosmological concept, the Hippocratic historical conception, the Galenic physiological concept, and on through history, each stage of civilization has its own concept of disease.

The more modern thought is directed to the anatomical concept, as anticipated by Vesalius. Then follow discussions of etiologic, social, psychologic, ontologic, biographic, and metaphysic concepts. These concepts do not represent a progressive line of human thought, but various concepts overlap, are lost, or recur.

This is a very interesting volume and should be read by those interested in the philosophical aspects of medicine.

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