A Certain Kind of Wisdom In Plato’s Apology, the Greek philosopher Socrates is on trial to defend himself against the allegation of corrupting the youth of Athens. Socrates denies this charge and offers an alternate reason for why he is on trial. He explains, “[w]hat has caused my reputation is none other than a certain kind of wisdom. What kind of wisdom? Human wisdom, perhaps(1). ” He proceeds to tell the story of his friend Chaerophon, who once asked the Oracle at Delphi whether there was anyone wiser than Socrates. The Oracle answered that there was not. Socrates did not agree and thought that he would try to prove the Oracle wrong. And so he set about seeking out Athenians with a reputation for wisdom in various regards in order to test their claims to knowledge through questioning. He discovered many with false claims to knowledge and none with genuine wisdom and ultimately concluded that he was the wisest. He reached this conclusion not because of any special knowledge he possessed that others did not, but rather because he recognized his own lack of knowledge and strived to learn more, while others thought that they were kno- edgeable but were not. Socrates’ conclusion that there is wisdom in recognizing the limitations of accepted knowledge represents the motivation for this book.
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Evidence-based medical practice stresses the examination of evidence from clinical research as the basis for clinical decision making, rather than relying on unsystematic clinical experience and pathophysiological rationale. In Neuromuscular Disease: Evidence and Analysis in Clinical Neurology, Michael Benatar, MBChB, demonstrates this approach in the case of neuromuscular disease with a critical appraisal of the neurological literature. Writing in a readable, accessible style, the author considers, in detail, a broad range of the published literature relevant not only to questions of treatment, but also to issues of diagnosis and prognosis of neuromuscular disease. Through a series of questions and answers concerning specific neuromuscular disorders, each chapter critiques the best available evidence to illustrate strengths and weaknesses of the data and make the reader aware of the quality of clinical research studies in general. Introductory chapters facilitate this learning process by elucidating the epidemiological and biostatistical issues pertinent to diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. A broad range of disorders of the anterior horn cell, nerve roots, peripheral nerves, neuromuscular junction, and muscle are critically appraised and discussed. Original and illuminating, Neuromuscular Disease: Evidence and Analysis in Clinical Neurology clarifies the available evidence base for why neurologists practice as they do in neuromuscular disease and suggests a healthy degree of skepticism about claims that are made without supporting evidence.Review:
From the reviews:
"The book religiously adheres to empirical evidence from studies of clinical evaluation and treatment of neuromuscular disease. ... its writing is crystal clear, with nice summaries in each section and at the end of each chapter. ... it is a superb tool in conjunction with traditional teaching or when used by practitioners or teachers. ... it is an outstanding source of the actual evidence, carefully reviewed and discussed, free of flashy distraction. As such, I will turn to it frequently as a trusted reference." (S. Claiborne Johnston, Muscle & Nerve, February, 2007)
"...useful for non-specialised and specialised neurologists treating neuromuscular disorders, and especially for those under the pressures of medicine who have difficulties in gathering detailed information required to reach unbiased conclusions." -Schweizer Archiv Fur Neurologie und Psychiatrie
"The information ... constitutes an easily accessible resource for the busy practitioner or the novice in the field, because the reader can select questions of interest without needing to read a whole review on the subject. The format is didactic and keeps the reader engaged. ... this book can provide easy reading for the busy general neurologist and offers quick and succinct answers to questions raised in everyday practice regarding the diagnosis and management of common neuromuscular problems." (Marinos C. Dalakas, The New England Journal of Medicine, May, 2007)
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