On Stephen Downes’ ever reliable site, Downes recently reviewed an essay on Aeon by William Eamon, titled ‘Six centuries of secularism: When the first ‘how-to’ books began to explain the way the world worked, they paved the way for science and secularism’ (link).
Now before you close the blog and think “what on earth did that have to do with physiotherapy”, consider this argument from Downes, who summarises Eamon’s ideas as an;
[i]nteresting thesis: “by elaborating mechanical processes and spelling out how things worked – in striking contrast to the well-documented secrecy of the guilds – writers began to transform the mechanical arts from personal know-how into scientific knowledge… The world of the crafts – like that of politics – lost its magic; it broke free of its yoke to the divine…. Because secularisation subverted the notion of cosmic and metaphysical order, the rise of how-to books sowed the seeds of a more open and tolerant view of humanity.”
It made me wonder if physiotherapy, as we know it, could have been possible without (a) the written word, used by people to (b) explain ideas to others, in (c) mechanistic ways that (d) borrowed from secular science, to (e) take a patho-anatomical view of the body, and then (f) encourage people to blog about it and offer critiques of the same?
Because, in the end, the large print will surely giveth and the small print may taketh away.