[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 26, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLIII(22):1619-1623. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.92500220001i

For many years—indeed, since the advent of the more exact scientific methods in medical research—it has been, to say the least, unfashionable to refer to "diatheses" and "temperaments." It is not difficult to find why these terms have dropped into disuse, and the reasons are good. Not only are the general terms themselves illy defined, but the attempts made to differentiate their subdivisions and parts are equally inchoate and confusing. They become, therefore, an easy refuge for inexact thinking, a condition obnoxious to modern medical methods. And yet we owe so much to the fathers, and have such great reason to admire the genius with which they brought to light many fundamental truths when surrounded by vicious methods of reasoning and faulty, inexact and incomplete methods of investigation, that it becomes a duty to give respectful attention to and make careful investigation of their dicta, even when adherence to them