[Histonet] Re: Art vs Science

RSRICHMOND <@t> aol.com RSRICHMOND <@t> aol.com
Mon Feb 5 13:56:32 CST 2007

Worthwhile to clarify some words here.

Until fairly recently there wasn't any "Art with a capital A" - paintings by 
some guy with a beret starving in a garret and poisoning himself with lead and 
chromium and maybe cutting an ear off every now and then. In olden times when 
people called something an "art", all they meant was that it was a skill 
someone had learned. The word needed is "craft". The distinction between "fine 
art" and "humble craft" is a recent one, and in my opinion one we'd all be better 
off without.

Pathology, histotechnology, and in fact all of medicine are crafts, helped 
along by varying amounts of science. 

A well known aphorism of Hippocrates (the half-legendary Greek physician over 
two thousand years ago) is that "life is short and art is long" (in Latin: 
vita brevis, ars longa). In Hippocrates' original Greek the word "art" is techne 
(skill or craft), and that's what the Latin means also. 

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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