Methodist School of Medicine

A Methodist school of medicine arose in philosophy and medicine in the first century AD (Frede, 1982). Methodists argued that to make medicine scientific, they needed to rely on science. In their case the science involved, the observation of certain features on the body and basing their treatment on the presence or absence of them. They disagreed with rationalists, especially those influenced by the Stoics, who argued that an individual had an essence that influenced the course of his disease. Also at play in determining the course of a disease, according to the rationalists, were factors such as climate, a person’s age and sex, and the part of the body affected. The complexity of factors, according to rationalists, do not allow for medicine to be a precise science. Rather it was seen as an art form that must be governed by the physician’s conjecturing. The Methodists disagreed.

The Methodists favored baths, ointments, and poultices as forms of treatment.

The Methodists were countered by Galen, who argued that cause could not always be determined through direct observation.

Writings about Methodism

Frede, Michael (1982). The method of the Methodical school. In Jonathan Barnes, Jacques Brunschwig, Miles Burnyeat and Malcolm Schofield (Eds.). Science and speculation (pp. 1-23). Cambridge University Press. See Google books,M1 Retrieved March 1, 2010.