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MaieusisEssays in Ancient Philosophy in Honour of Myles Burnyeat$
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Dominic Scott

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199289974

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289974.001.0001

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The Wife of Philinus, or the Doctors' Dilemma: Medical Signs and Cases and Non‐deductive Inference

The Wife of Philinus, or the Doctors' Dilemma: Medical Signs and Cases and Non‐deductive Inference

Chapter:
(p.335) 17 The Wife of Philinus, or the Doctors' Dilemma: Medical Signs and Cases and Non‐deductive Inference
Source:
Maieusis
Author(s):

G. E. R. Lloyd

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289974.003.0017

This chapter focuses on 5th- and early 4th-century medical texts. The Hippocratic Corpus provides rich materials for the study of non-deductive inference — as also do the extant remains of Hellenistic medicine. The interest of this material lies partly in the obvious fact that the doctors were working under considerable pressure to arrive at judgements in cases where their patients' lives — as well as their own reputations — were at stake. The author puts himself as far as possible in their shoes to examine what they thought they could infer from the signs they cite, given how they understood disease. It is shown that there is a recurrent tension within the Hippocratic texts between the urge to generalize and the realization of its difficulty.

Keywords:   Aristotle, medical texts, Hippocratic texts, Hellenistic medicine, generalize

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