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Research backs ancient diagnosis

 
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Sue



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 945
Location: Australia

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 5:49 am    Post subject: Research backs ancient diagnosis Reply with quote

I've been meaning to post this for a few days now. An Australian researcher has won an international brain research award to further his studies into whether depression and anxiety can worsen the most common form of epilepsy. Problem is, Hippocrates and Aristotle said this quite some time ago - twenty-five centuries ago in the case of Hippocrates. He said that melancholics often become epileptics and epileptics become melancholics, back in the 5th century BCE. The researcher does acknowledge Hippocrates, however.
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granny_skot



Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 1634
Location: California, USA

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hippocrates based his findings in research, aristotle never did, which is why few modern scientists will quote anything from Aristotle for public view.

Granny
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Deb
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Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Hippocrates based his findings in research, aristotle never did


What never? I thought Aristotle's great name in science was partly because of his argument in favour of objective research.
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granny_skot



Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 1634
Location: California, USA

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually that is Galileo, Aristotle did things like propose that a small rock falls slower than a large rock and never followed up his theories with experimentation or observation. Galileo did the experiment proving that Gravity is gravity and a small rock falls at the same speed as a big rock.
that is also why Galileo is called the father or modern science he proposed testing ones ideas...apparently a novel concept. (I know my sense of humor is a bit odd, hope it doesn't slip by un-noticed)

It could also be that the person in question just wasn't aware of Aristotles having suggested it as well, I am notoriously anti Aristotle.

Granny

link that is less biased than I...
http://zebu.uoregon.edu/~js/ast221/lectures/lec07.html
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Deb
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Location: England

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I’ve noticed in a number of posts that you have made that you are very anti-Aristotelian. But you can’t just say “Aristotle didn’t do research; that was Galileo” as if every achievement Aristotle made counts for nothing. Aristotle stood against the Platonic view that the ‘truth’ of something is incapable of being understood by human senses, and argued instead in favour of empirical observation. As a result Aristotle has become the easy target of attack by metaphysicists. But the fact is Aristotle was a great man and contributed to scientific knowledge on many levels. If “few modern scientists will quote anything from Aristotle for public view” I doubt it is because Aristotle and the achievements he made in his own time are not deserving of respect; it’s more likely because they have no real respect for classical knowledge, and the way it acted as a platform for future development. I personally lean more towards the Platonic than the Aristotelian, but consider the statement that Aristotle never conducted research a gross inaccuracy.

A very unbiased view of his life and achievements is available on the university of St Andrews website, the abstract of which claims that “more than any other thinker, [he] determined the orientation and the content of Western intellectual history”

http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Aristotle.html
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granny_skot



Joined: 20 May 2004
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Location: California, USA

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well I can, it might not be nice, and others may certainly argue with me over it.

Aristotle argued to many things that make me boil to ever give him much benefit of the doubt. (much snippage, its hard to be nice about people I loathe so biting tongue about Arty here very hard)

Granny
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough Smile
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Sue



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 945
Location: Australia

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How can you loathe a person who has been dead for thousands of years and never did anything to you? You may not agree with him but he doesn't deserve to be loathed. I am not much of a fan of many of Aristotle's ideas. I am much more inclined towards Plato. However, he contributed an incredible corpus of work and if you dismiss him completely you will have to dismiss an enormous amount of the learning that has stemmed from his work. If anyone is really genuine about traditional learning they will read Aristotle and accept that he was a very learned person whose ideas were unique for their time. Whether they are correct or not is, two thousand years later, irrelevant. Scientists are often very wrong. Galileo was sometimes wrong.
During the Middle Ages it was considered heretical to say something against Aristotle or to question his ideas and you could be thrown out of university for doing that. By the time of the early Renaissance (early 15th century) learning was starting to turn back towards Plato. Galileo did not create the idea of empirical testing, far from it. Aristotle was one of the first to insist on it even though others before him had raised the issue (eg. Heraclitus). This is the main reason his name has been handed down for hundreds of years. Have you actually read any of his works seriously or have you just read snippits of it and decided that you loathed him without any hard evidence? You don't have to agree with someone to respect them. Aristotle had a profound influence on the history of learning throughout ancient and medieval times. To completely dismiss his work would be like pulling the bottom card from a tower of cards. Everything would crumble.
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Piper



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 55
Location: Canada

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on what you mean by "research". By comparing Aristotle to Galileo, I think granny may be referring to measurement, which actually does not define research alone, because research includes observation and analysis and not just measurement.

For example, Aristotle collected, dissected and researched extensively in botany and biology, but he did not measure his specimens as we do today, although he occasionally refers to their relative sizes. He was not a mathematician, although he urged his students to study mathematics.

As a philosopher, collector, and organizer of knowledge, Aristotle stands as a giant and there is no question of his influence and importance. Some of his ideas in physical science were wrong, but these problems have been corrected long ago. On the other hand, sometimes it is surprizing to discover that ancient scientists like Hippocrates and Aristotle were quite aware of the psychological connections to disease, which we may think is a more modern concept.

KennethM
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