Tuesday, October 5, 2021

944: What the others did.....

 The Greek-Roman physician Galenus (129 - 216 AD ) was one of the last who wanted to combine the empirical medicines of Alexandria and the more theoretical-based medicines of Hippocrates.


However, dissecting human bodies was taboo in those times. Eventually wins the humor theory. As I said in the last lecture,


The humor theory formed an all-encompassing world view from which it was not easy to deviate. 


For real medical anatomy we have to wait till the 17th century, when the human body was regarded as a machine and William Harvey, for instance, discovered the circulatory system.


Homo sapiens learned to look at patterns and formulate principles based on these patterns, but the interesting thing is, that he applied this method mainly to the world outside him.


When it comes to himself, Homo sapiens tends to fantasize all kinds of metaphysical and spiritual ideas together and base his medical judgment on them.


Why is that? I have a possible explanation. Homo sapiens thinks of him as something special. On the one hand part of nature, but on the other hand somehow more than nature.


Makes me think of "Animal Farm" by George Orwell, where the pigs invent the rule: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal.


The insight that Homo sapiens is just a part and participant in the global ecosystem is pretty new, forced upon us by climate change, serious ecological problems, extinction of animals and insects, etc.


This belief that homo sapiens is somehow connected to the macro cosmos is not just some ancient Greek idea. You'll find it in all great cultures.


The medical ideas in India around the first century AD show a remarkable resemblance to the humor theory of the Greek


The theory was called the Ayurveda: the knowledge (veda) of the long life (ayus.). According to the ayurveda there are three bodily fluids: wind, bile and phlegm.


They correspond to the macrocosmic forces of wind, sun and moon. The theory is part of Hinduism and its ideas about reincarnation, and balance of the soul.


On the other hand, there existed a lot of practical medical actions, like surgery, even plastic surgery, but that was mainly the work of craftsmen.


Also in ancient Chinese medicine we see a striving for harmony between microcosm and macrocosm, possibly even stronger than in Greece. 


The art of healing consists in the knowledge of how to consolidate or restore this harmony, for which the physician must be both a philosopher and craftsman. 


To maintain good health, man must nurture the life force Qi. However, Qi can also have a disruptive effect and cause illness. 


The essence of understanding Qi lies in the concept of the Yin / Yang pair. Like all natural processes, a disease goes through an active yang phase and a passive yin phase. 


When a disease has reached a crisis point, it moves into another phase. In addition, there are also the "Five Phases" (Wu xing): wood, fire, earth, metal and water. 


These correspond to the heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys. The body is a microcosm whose state of being sick or healthy is determined by the universal principles of Qi, Yin and Yang, and the Wu xing. 


The worldview according to which the macrocosm is reflected in the microcosm thus occurs in Greece, India and China.


 However, it is unclear whether treatments based on these kinds of views were actually curative. Real pattern recognition and principles to be formulated from it was in fact hampered by all this kind of metaphysics. 


Homo sapiens considered themselves still too much more than just part of nature.


Thank you for your attention again....


MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rens Bod: "Een Wereld vol Patronen".  2019

The Discussion

[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[[13:20] oola Neruda: makes me think of acupuncture

[13:20] herman Bergson: Maybe you didn't notice it so much, but I declare all those metaphysical and spiritual features of homo sapiens as ...well....bogus :-)

[13:20] oola Neruda: nods

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess ur right, dont have belief in it either

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): no logic connection

[13:21] herman Bergson: As I also declared homo sapiens as just a part of nature, part of the ecosystem

[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): equal but a bit more

[13:22] oola Neruda: thinking of Leonardo da Vinci disecting bodies... but for a different reason

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but I also dont believe in any spiritual force connecting me with different matters outside me like wind and water'

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its just well cult stuff

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): wirks great in films games and anime

[13:23] oola Neruda: people were horrified at the idea of bisecting bodies

[13:23] herman Bergson: But still the most interesting question for me is....why did homo sapiens thought of things like that?

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Naaa come on now! (gets angle grinder out) WIIIIIIIIIIIIII!

[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they had no other explenation

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehehe

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes its soon halloween and im warming up!

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true Herman

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): now we know more

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): how it really works

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): no magic spirits and smokescreens

[13:24] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje, but why could man not be content with the observation: for the moment I have no explanation for it?

[13:24] oola Neruda: there were such taboos on finding out what was in there.. yet they were carnivores so should have had some idea

[13:25] herman Bergson: He wanted yet an explanation, though he had no data on certain subjects

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): unless they thought humans to be way different from other animals

[13:25] oola Neruda: perhaps because "we" were above the animals

[13:25] herman Bergson: Oh yes, oola

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes

[13:25] herman Bergson: There is a nice literary example....

[13:26] herman Bergson: In the novel of Aubel The Clan of the .....Bear....don't know the exact title...

[13:26] oola Neruda: cave bear

[13:27] herman Bergson: the main character as a child could something that only was allowed to the shaman of the clan.....she secretly could count, like he could

[13:28] herman Bergson: To make it taboo blocks development....like dissecting corpses for research was taboo and blocked development of knowledge

[13:29] herman Bergson: Darwin put us at the same level as the rest of nature

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed

[13:29] oola Neruda: oh no... heritic!!!

[13:30] herman Bergson: And that is only a 150 years ago

[13:30] herman Bergson: And look at the explosive development of medicines from then on

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some better progress since!

[13:31] herman Bergson: Makes me thin of toxology.....

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): NO u cant cure a cold with cyanide and mercury!

[13:31] herman Bergson: In the 17th and 18th century man still was NOT equal to animals....

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like they thought back then

[13:32] herman Bergson: So people tested poisons on themselves

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): using downright poisons as medicine cause the elements were connected to god or something

[13:32] herman Bergson: experimenting with animals.....when did that begin.....? I don't know

[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): at the discovery og dna?

[13:33] herman Bergson: That was indeed common practice Bejiita

[13:33] herman Bergson: To answer that question we need to do some research

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and drinking crude oil and even worse radioactive substances like radium water and believe it to be healthy

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (shudders)

[13:34] herman Bergson: But using animals as tests for use on humans of certain medicines.....

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well maybe we should test the substance on say a plant first and see what happens to it

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): before downing it like a friday beer

[13:35] herman Bergson: it tells us something about the way we look at ourselves and animals

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for example, cutting fluid for the machines at work kills plants so maybee i should not drink that

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that kind of thing

[13:36] herman Bergson: you have apoint there Bejiita

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): however i know its harmless to the skin cause well its made to be handled safley while usung the machine

[13:37] herman Bergson: So...it may be instructive to keep an eye on the development of medicines through time....

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): horse manure saves plants, but I don't think it cures me

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ee nope

[13:37] herman Bergson: you give me the creeps Beertje....yuk

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol

[13:37] herman Bergson: ^_^

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): different things are good for different well beings

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we use shit on our plants cause it has nitrogen in it that plants need, but there is no shit left in the food we eat luckily

[13:38] herman Bergson: but Chinese still rob the horns of rhinoceroses for medical purposes....based on those bogus theories

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (shakes head) sadly yes!

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): same with shark fins being cut of

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): poor sharkies

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): really cruel

[13:40] herman Bergson: and we still have all kinds of pseudo medicines....they'll kill me if I say....for instance  homeopathy

[13:41] oola Neruda: the emperor of China was given mercury for his "actions"....

[13:41] herman Bergson: on  the one hand we have great edicines and on the other hand we seem to be still like those from ...say... 100 AD :-)

[13:41] oola Neruda: he had a river of it placed in the huge huge grave where he was buried even...

[13:41] oola Neruda: they said it could cure him

[13:41] oola Neruda: instead, he went insane

[13:41] herman Bergson: to show the world the cause of his death :-)

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sure! mercury fumes are soooooo healthy! (shudders again)

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): esp mercury salts can kill u if just one drop of solution get on your skin

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a slow aginizing death

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): destroys nervous system

[13:43] oola Neruda: he became "insane"

[13:43] herman Bergson: oh...nice....

[13:43] oola Neruda: had that terra cotta army built near his grave...

[13:44] herman Bergson: before we all become insane...maybe a good moment to conlcude our discussion :-))

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sodium chloride = tasty, mercury chloride: i think i stay way clear from that

[13:44] herman Bergson: ahh...that fellow oola :-)

[13:44] oola Neruda: the army did not protect him very well

[13:44] herman Bergson: Ok, let's clran up any last question then too :-)

[13:44] oola Neruda: after death

[13:45] herman Bergson: clean

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): before we go insane lets calm down with moving some hopefully mercyry and radium free plupps around!

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): .)

[13:45] herman Bergson: ok...

[13:45] herman Bergson: Thank you all again for  your participation...

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Nice!

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): again

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:45] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as it should be

[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:46] bergfrau Apfelbaum: as a child there was only mercury fever thermometer. once one broke. the mercury behaved like the turtles .. grins

[13:46] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you Herman and class!

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