Paradigms of Medical History




Tyree, Phillip III

Access rights

Worldwide access

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



There have been two prominent beliefs in western medicine through history: humoralism and modern scientific medicine. Despite humoralism often being looked at as a quite aged medical practice, there are still influences from the times of antiquity, such as the well-known Hippocratic Oath. This influence has often led people to view the progression of medicine as a constant evolution, but this thesis looks into how the history of medicine is made up of several paradigms. I analyze the development of humoralism in Ancient Greece and Rome and how it overtook the prior belief based on superstitions and religion. Then, I look into the major scientific and medical discoveries from the Renaissance, Enlightenment, and up to the current times, showing the development of the scientific medicine that we now know. This allowed me to suggest that, rather than developing from each other, these paradigms of medicine developed independently, causing an incommensurable paradigm shift.



Medical history., Medical paradigms., Humoralism., Scientific medicine.