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April 1969

Of Physic and Metaphysics

Author Affiliations

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Arch Intern Med. 1969;123(4):462-466. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300140108024

I hope that not too many readers will run for cover when they see the title that stands at the head of these remarks. Medical men traditionally have tended to sheer away from philosophy. They have not been inclined to follow Gilbert's advice:

If you're anxious for to shine in the high aesthetic line as a man of culture rare,

You must get up all the germs of the transcendental terms, and plant them everywhere.

They have been busy with "germs" of another kind and with the immediate ills of back and belly. That is not to say that there are no philosophers or metaphysicians in our ranks at the present time. Among others I can think of Sir Charles Sherrington (Man on His Nature), Sir Peter Medawar, who received a Nobel Prize for his work in immunology (The Art of the Soluble), and Dr. Konrad Lorenz, whose book On

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