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Theodore Wirth

This was a very nice read on a Sunday morning. Thank you for your hard work Lance.


Doyle was a physician during a period of major change in medical practice. William Osler was one of the major figures pushing for it and was noted for his seminal essay Aequanimitas promoting a detached attitude in the face of illness. Illness was not a moral issue. Diseases weren't evil or the work of the devil as was often felt. They were intellectual problems to be solved. The doctor was not a priest or a friend or a brother. The doctor was an intellect.

I'm not the first to point out that Holmes resembled this idealized physician, one who fought with his mind and did not judge. I think Gerald Weissman noted this in one of his essays, though it might have been Lewis Thomas. The name of Holmes' most serious challenger was Moriarity, a name derived from the Latin word for death. (I gather from other sources that Irene Adler was just Lillie Langtree, but that's another story.)

For another interesting take on being nonjudgemental:

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