Further, the learning of the art and practice of medicine should refine our sense of character and conduct, of justice and sympathy, greatly heightening our self-knowledge, self-control, precision of action, and considerateness, and making us intolerant of baseness, cruelty, injustice, and intellectual superficiality or vulgarity. . . .

The great physician is he who goes a step beyond [serving the demands of the physical and moral senses] and, by supplying service of a higher beauty and a higher interest than have yet been perceived, succeeds after a brief struggle with its strangeness, in adding this fresh extension of sense to the heritage of the people . This is why we value the learning of the art and practice of medicine : this is why we feel that the iconoclast and the Philistine are attacking something made holier, by solid usefulness, than their own theories of purity and practicality.


p style=”text-align:right;”>Shaw, “A Degenerate’s View of Nordau,” revised as The Sanity of Art in 1898