Posted: Jun 15, 2010 10:04 pm
by DST70
Shrunk wrote:I also wonder why they set medical science aside as a special case where "rationalism" can be disregarded. If someone were building them a house, and said he had abandoned all empirical principles of structural engineering and simply nailed up a bunch of beams based on the "peculiar" circumstances of this particular house, would then even dare set foot in it?

I probably didn't explain it very well - the other approach is empirical. Both traditions go back to the origins of medicine in Hippocratic times. The empirical tradition is not irrational; it differs from the rationalist model though in that causation, treatment and prognosis is recognised as multifactorial and likely different in different settings. EBM is largely an empirical pathway. The rational model sees illness as the result of disease entities which are biochemically or anatomically distinct.

Modern scientific medicine contains elements of rational and empirical models.