The History of Medicine: Philosophy, Science, and Psychology


“History of Medicine” provides an accessible historical and interdisciplinary perspective on medicine, focused primarily upon therapy and practice, to achieve better understanding of the scope, practice, and limits of medicine. Medicine is defined as the treatment of disease. Human attempts to understand and treat disease will be seen as evolving from the spiritual and mystical practices of the distant past, to the rational approach of the Classical World, and finally to the scientific thinking of the Renaissance and beyond.

This course is appropriate for both a general audience and those entering medical and health professions.

What you will learn

Week 1

We start with the basics this week: disease, medicine, and the origins of therapy.

Week 2

This week we travel through time and space, from the ancient world to the Renaissance, to Egypt, India, Greece, China, the Islamic world, and finally, Western Europe.

Week 3

This week we review the rapid advances in science (and pseudoscience) in the the 18th and 19th centuries.

Week 4

This week we’re getting into drugs and alternative medicine.

What’s included