The clinical empiricism of Thomas Sydenham (1624–1689) and his definition of especie morbosae represented a substantial turn in the medicine of his time. This turn supposed the shift towards an ontological conception of diseases, from a qualitative to quantitative interpretation. Sydenham’s clinical proposal had a great influence on empiricism philosophical thinking, particularly in John Locke and his delimitation of knowledge. The dialogue between medicine and philosophy, set out by Sydenham-Locke, reactivates the problem of the clinical and theoretical foundations of medical thought, as well as the limits of scientific knowledge. Similar to problem exposed in the Hippocratic treatise On ancient medicine, seventeenth-century medicine seeks its epistemological foundations and the solution to its difficulties in clinical experience, probability and analogy. The aim of this work is to show the Sydenham’s contribution to one of the great controversies between medicine and philosophy.
Lloyd, G.E.R., 1992, Polarity and Analogy: Two Types of Argumentation in Early Greek Thought (1966), Bristol: Bristol Classical Press; Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Co.
Marcum, J.A., 2008, An Introductory Philosophy of Medicine: Humanizing Modern Medicine. Springer Netherlands.
Rodríguez Sánchez, R.A., 2008, La evolución de la concepción de enfermedad en John Locke: el galenismo y la iatroquímica. ThéMata. Revista de Filosofía, núm. 40, 97–115.
Sánchez González, M.A., 2014, El ensayo Ars medica de John Locke, y la influencia de sus ideas médicas sobre la filosofía empirista. Asclepio, Revista de Historia de la Medicina y de la Ciencia, 66 (1), enerojunio 2014.
Sydenham, T., 1848, The Works of Thomas Sydenham, M.D. Translated from the Latin edition of Dr. Greenhill with A life of the author by R.G. Latham, M.D. Two volumes. London, Printed for the Sydenham Society.
Walmsley, J., 2008, Sydenham and the development of Locke’s natural philosophy. In: British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 16(1), 65–83.