Friday, April 13, 2007

Aristotle quote on cases from today's BMJ

Classical commentary on the case report? Today's issue of the British Medical Journal includes a brief Aristotle quote captioned, "Aristotle: Clinical Epidemiologist?,"
None of the arts theorise about individual cases. Medicine, for instance, does not theorise about what will help to cure Socrates or Callias, but only about what will help to cure any or all of a given class of patients. This alone is business: individual cases are so infinitely various that no systematic knowledge of them is possible.
-- Aristotle. Rhetoric. book I, chapter 2: 1356b

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