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The Physician As Teacher. Epistemic Function, Cognitive Function And The Incommensurability Of Errors

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Chapter Summary

In many Hippocratic writings, the writers' attention is often focused on registering and discussing medical errors. The discussion of errors is a rhetorical strategy used by Hippocratic physicians in relation to a variety of different subject-matters. This chapter aims to: 1) to determine some of the most important contexts in which errors become the object of medical discourse; 2) to distinguish, per exempla, the typologies of errors made object of discourse; 3) to give an epistemological outline which may clarify which functions these discourses have and whether these functions respond coherently to a conscious plan of medical knowledge. Author believes it fitting to conclude that, in the efforts of medical discourse to define and provide self-definition, a certain principle of incommensurability of error is at work, expounded on the plane of an ethic of cognition prior to its being burdened with an epistemological statute.

Keywords: cognition; epistemological; Hippocratic writings; incommensurability; medical discourse; medical errors; medical knowledge; physician; teacher



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