Medicine as a Model for Aristotle’s Ethics and his Person-centered Approach

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Charalampos Ierodiakonou


Aristotle respected medicine very much as a positive and dependable science, so he very often in his texts refers to its principles and methodology as a rule for his views on ethics. The philosopher’s parallelism of medicine and ethics brought philosophy into more human measures, and especially his consideration for each person to be taken as a special case reminds one of today’s person-centered medicine. Aristotle believed that in ethics, and generally in life, mathematical exactness cannot be applied, taking the example from medicine in which treatment changes according to the needs of each patient. Relativity is obvious in his motto that we should seek “what is relative to us”, while at the same time keeping a holistic approach, similar to today’s bio-psycho-social approach of modern medicine. Aristotle had the ability to study intra-psychic phenomena so deeply and in detail, that he used them as a model in order to shape his ethical virtues.

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