The irresistible fascination of medical theories about opposites.

L. R. Angeletti, L. Frati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Theurgical medicine was a part of the eternal fight between good and evil and health was reconciliation with the gods. This duality characterized ancient medicine, i.e. Greek medicine after the Homeric age or Chinese traditional medicine. In the passage to medicine of observation due to the School of Cos duel between good and evil becomes substrate of new medicine and the balances between*opposites represented by elements and qualities were the fundaments of the humoralism. Fascination of opposites continues for centuries up to now, both in western and far eastern medicine: yin/yang, antibody/antigen, cAMP/cGMP, oncogene/antioncogene are examples of this attractive theory. Although fundaments of biological and medical observations are the basis of theories of opposites, the trend is to overcome reality and today represents, following idealism in the 19th century, an inconscious ancestral reminiscence of theurgical philosophy and medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-155
Number of pages23
JournalMedicina nei secoli
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The irresistible fascination of medical theories about opposites.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this