Month: June 2018

Aristotle and general practice: What do good doctors do?

Aristotle had it right when he asserted in his ‘Metaphysics’ that ‘Those who wish to succeed must ask the right preliminary question’. More than 2000 years later, doctors would do well to listen to his advice. Before adopting each and every new advance that claims to be good for our patients, we should ask what we are hoping to achieve by following such recommendations.

We ought to consider whether the answer we come up with tallies with what I would propose might, in Aristotle’s eyes, be a good preliminary question to ask ourselves: ‘What do good doctors do?’

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Delphi and the current path of Western culture

I have just come back from the centre of the world. Not the centre of the earth of course. No, in ancient times the centre of the world was reckoned to be Delphi. This claim was evidence based. If we do not articulate our values and construct a world where freedom, tolerance, fairness and human dignity win the day then the west has no moral high ground from which to lecture the rest of the world. The west has rested on its smug moral superiority for far too long.

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