„The best physician is also a philosopher.“

—  Galén

Title of a treatise; cited from Judith Perkins The Suffering Self (London: Routledge, 1995) p. 154.
Latter day attributions
Original: (la) Quod optimus medicus sit quoque philosophus.

Last update Nov. 21, 2020. History
Galén photo
Roman physician, surgeon and philosopher 129 - 216

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„The best of all physicians
Is apple pie and cheese!“

—  Eugene Field, A Little Book of Western Verse

Apple Pie and Cheese, st. 5
A Little Book of Western Verse (1889)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge photo

„In the treatment of nervous cases, he is the best physician who is the most ingenious inspirer of hope.“

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge English poet, literary critic and philosopher 1772 - 1834

2 January 1833
Table Talk (1821–1834)

Paul Carus photo
Pierre Hadot photo

„Incommensurable; but also inseparable. No discourse worthy of being called philosophical, that is separated from the philosophical life; no philosophical life, if it is not strictly linked to philosophical discourse. It is there that the danger inherent to a philosophical life resides: the ambiguity of philosophical discourse.“

—  Pierre Hadot French historian and philosopher 1922 - 2010

Incommensurables donc, mais aussi inséparables. Pas de discours qui mérite d’être appelé philosophique, s’il est séparé de la vie philosophique, pas de vie philosophique, si elle n’est étroitement liée au discours philosophique. C’est là d’ailleurs que réside le danger inhérent à la vie philosophique: l’ambiguïté du discours philosophique.
Qu'est-ce que la philosophie antique? (1995)

„Of all the non-European philosophers, William James probably best deserves to be an Existentialist.“

—  William Barrett (philosopher), book Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy

Source: Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy (1958), Chapter One, The Advent of Existentialism, p. 16

„Epictetus is the best authority for the explanation of the philosophical language of Antoninus and the exposition of his opinions.“

—  George Long English classical scholar 1800 - 1879

The Philosophy of Antoninus
Context: The doctrines of Epictetus and Antoninus are the same, and Epictetus is the best authority for the explanation of the philosophical language of Antoninus and the exposition of his opinions.

Quintus Curtius Rufus photo

„But physicians also cure more desperate maladies by harsh remedies, and a pilot, when he fears shipwreck, rescues by jettison whatever can be saved.“

—  Quintus Curtius Rufus Roman historian

V, 9, 3; translation by John Carew Rolfe
Historiarum Alexandri Magni Macedonis Libri Qui Supersunt, Book V
Original: (la) Sed medici quoque graviores morbos asperis remediis curant, et gubernator, ubi nafraugium timet, iactura quidquid servari potest redimit.

Dio Chrysostom photo
Percy Bysshe Shelley photo

„The best learners are also teachers.“

—  Dave Ulrich American academic 1953

Source: HR from the Outside In, 2012, p. 105

Benjamin Disraeli photo

„Time is the great physician.“

—  Benjamin Disraeli British Conservative politician, writer, aristocrat and Prime Minister 1804 - 1881

Book 6, chapter 9.
Books, Coningsby (1844), Henrietta Temple (1837)

Aeschylus photo

„Words are the physicians of a mind diseased.“

—  Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

Original: (el) ὀργῆς νοσούσης εἰσὶν ἰατροὶ λόγοι
Source: Prometheus Bound, line 378; compare: "Apt words have power to suage / The tumours of a troubl'd mind", John Milton, Samson Agonistes.

Yevgeniy Chazov photo

„I am convinced that today is a great and exciting day not only for the members of our international movement but also for all physicians on our planet, irrespective of their political and religious beliefs.“

—  Yevgeniy Chazov Russian physician 1929

Nobel Peace prize acceptance speech (1985)
Context: I am convinced that today is a great and exciting day not only for the members of our international movement but also for all physicians on our planet, irrespective of their political and religious beliefs. For the first time in history, their selfless service for the cause of maintaining life on Earth is marked by the high Nobel Prize. True to the Hippocratic Oath, we cannot keep silent knowing what final epidemic-nuclear war — can bring to humankind. The bell of Hiroshima rings in our hearts not as a funeral knell, but as an alarm bell calling out to actions to protect life on our planet.
We were among the first to demolish the nuclear illusions that existed and to unveil the true face of nuclear weapons — the weapons of genocide. We warned the peoples and governments that medicine would be helpless to offer even minimal relief to the hundreds of millions of victims of nuclear war.
However, our contacts with patients inspire our faith in the human reason. Peoples are heedful of the voice of physicians who warn them of the danger and recommend the means of prevention.

John Ruskin photo

„I choose my physician and my clergyman, thus indicating my sense of the quality of their work.” By all means, also, choose your bricklayer; that is the proper reward of the good workman, to be “chosen.“

—  John Ruskin, book Unto This Last

The natural and right system respecting all labour is, that it should be paid at a fixed rate, but the good workman employed, and the bad workman unemployed. The false, unnatural, and destructive system is when the bad workman is allowed to offer his work at half-price, and either take the place of the good, or force him by his competition to work for an inadequate sum.

Essay I: "The Roots of Honour," section 29
Unto This Last (1860)

Hippocrates photo

„Life is short, and Art long; the crisis fleeting; experience perilous, and decision difficult. The physician must not only be prepared to do what is right himself, but also to make the patient, the attendants, and externals cooperate.“

—  Hippocrates ancient Greek physician -460 - -370 BC

Ὁ βίος βραχὺς, ἡ δὲ τέχνη μακρὴ, ὁ δὲ καιρὸς ὀξὺς, ἡ δὲ πεῖρα σφαλερὴ, ἡ δὲ κρίσις χαλεπή. Δεῖ δὲ οὐ μόνον ἑωυτὸν παρέχειν τὰ δέοντα ποιεῦντα, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸν νοσέοντα, καὶ τοὺς παρεόντας, καὶ τὰ ἔξωθεν.
1:1, Variant translation: Art is long; life is short; opportunity is fleeting; judgement is difficult; experience is deceitful. Compare: "The lyfe so short, the craft so long to lerne", Geoffrey Chaucer, The Assembly of Fowles, line 1.
Original: (el) Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile. Nec vero solum seipsum praestare oportet oportuna facientem: sed et assidentes, et exteriora.

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Luigi Cornaro photo

„No man should be a perfect physician to any but himself.“

—  Luigi Cornaro Italian philosopher 1484 - 1566

Discourses on the Sober Life

Galén photo

„Employment is Nature's physician, and is essential to human happiness.“

—  Galén Roman physician, surgeon and philosopher 129 - 216

Latter day attributions
Source: Day's Collacon: an Encyclopaedia of Prose Quotations, (1884), p. 223.

Henry Fielding photo

„Every physician almost hath his favorite disease.“

—  Henry Fielding English novelist and dramatist 1707 - 1754

Book II, Ch. 9
The History of Tom Jones (1749)

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