Quacks. A school of medicine founded by Serapion of Alex.
andria, who contended that it is not necessary to obtain a knowledge of
the nature and functions of the body in order to treat diseases, but
that experience is the surest and best guide. They were opposed to the
Dogmatics (q.v.). (Greek, peirao, to try, which gives the
Greek empeiria, experience.)
We must not
So stain our judgment, or corrupt our hope,
To prostitute our past-cure malady
Shakespeare: All's Well That Ends Well,
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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