The present essay is not meant to be historical yet most of it is history, or rather most of it is that part of history which still is topical. It seems to us amazing how topical still is the ancient debate between the schools of Cos and Cnidus, with Hippocrates representing Cos, and the Corpus Hippocraticum representing both: indeed, our thesis is that medicine comprises both schools even today. The reader of the Corpus has constantly to be reminded that the reference of the ancient writings is so very different from today’s. Consider the scalpel against which the Hippocratic oath speaks, and which treatises on surgery — which, together with the oath comprise the core of the Corpus Hippocraticum — speak in favour of. That scalpel is a very distant cousin of today’s scalpel — unless both stand as mere symbols for the externalist school of Cnidus to which most surgeons traditionally today still belong. Quite appropriately the generalist school, to which most internalists traditionally belong, has no symbol: non intervention is best symbolised by no symbol.


External Agent Generalist School Mental Health Organization Present Essay World Mental Health 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.the Sackler School of Medicine and F. Brüll Community Mental Health Center Kupat HolimTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Tel-Aviv UniversityIsrael
  3. 3.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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