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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 19(2); 2010 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 2010;19(2): 487-506.
『고대 의학에 관하여』의 저자의 논적에 대한 연구
The Identity of the Author's Opponents of On Ancient Medicine
Deokjin Ban
Department of Liberal Arts, Woosuk University, 330 Samrae-Up, Wanju-Gun, Jeonbuk, Korea. djban21@hanmail.net
The identity of the author's opponents of On Ancient Medicine is an attractive and problematic question. In 1963, Lloyd suggested that the author was attacking Philolaus or medical thinkers influenced by him. In 1998, Vegetty argued that the author's attack was directed at Empedocles himself. But Lloyd's hypothesis need to solve Philolaus' paradox and there is a strong evidence that the author is not criticizing a specific text or thinker at all, but rather a general trend or tendency in the medicine of his time. It is that the author regularly refers to the opponents in the plural(chh. 1, 13, 15, 20). Jouanna in his introduction Bude edition(p. 18) supposes that the author means to say that he has completed his discussion of his initially announced opponents and that he is now launching an independent criticism of philosophical medicine in general, as if there is no essential connection between the two groups. But the distinction between the polemic of chh 1-19 and that of chapter 20 is largely a matter of emphasis. In chh 1-19 the author focuses on the aspect of the opponents' causal reductionism, i.e. reduction of the causes and cures of disease to a few factors. And in chapter 20 he steps back to discuss more general physis theory on which such a position was based. At any rate, We can readily see that initial opponents and the thinkers of chapter 20 at least belong the same intellectual milieu. The answer to the question "Who is attacked in On Ancient Medicine?" is not a specific thinker or different groups, but all those who attempted to reduce the cause of disease to a few factors, and to base their medical practice on a theory of the human physis. An opinion that this work attacked a special thinker involves some of the same pitfalls as the traditional Hippocratic question.
Key Words: On Ancient Medicine, Lloyd's Hypothesis, Philolaus' Paradox, Causal Reductionism, a Theory of the Human Physis
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