Tag Archives: Voltaire

The curative value of pork

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Photo of a Swedish pig farmer. Gustav Heurlin. From Allers Familj-journal. 1909. Via Wikimedia The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. —Voltaire   My mother told me the story that when I was a few months old I developed some sort of respiratory illness. […]

Mortality data, risk probability, and the psychology of assent in the enlightenment smallpox debate

David Spadafora Pinehurst, North Carolina   Nicolas de Largillière, Portrait of Voltaire, ca. 1724. Source. The present health crisis is hardly the first to provoke significant controversy about preventing and treating widespread disease. Debate over epidemic-related data, its reliability, and its uses has a long history. So does concern about the psychological elements involved in […]

Is history good for you? Pros and cons

Pro “ . . . a page of history is worth a volume of logic.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana “A people without history is like wind on the buffalo grass.” – Sioux proverb “[History is] a pact between the dead, […]

Is it ethical to bring religion into medicine?

Patrick Guinan Chicago,  Illinois, USA   Over 200 years ago Voltaire wrote that one half of metaphysics was known to everybody and that the other half will never be known. It is by no means certain that ethics has yet reached the same high degree of development. At the beginnings of recorded history, the priests […]