Oedipus, the Medicine and the "Evidential Paradigm"


  • Fernando Rosa Albisola Superiore, (SV), I


Sofocle , Edipo Re, Abduzione , Paradigma indiziario


 The inquiry about the causes of the Thebes plague characterizes Sophocles' tragedy Oedipus the King. This inquiry uses a circumstantial method (Ginzburg's "evidential paradigm") which can be compared to Peirce's abduction. The circumstantial knowledge is a proceedment of the hippocratic medicine and Sophocles undoubtedly knew it: it can also be observed in the Mesopotamian proceedments of divination and medicine from which it probably derives through a laicization process. This knowledge is related to the [see text], a type of intelligence which has to do with the development of fluent situations. The characters of Oedipus also shows some aspects of a holy medicine (for example the theme of the enigma and some shamanist aspects) which reappear after the failure of the hippocratic medicine unsuccessfully used by the doctors during the Athens' plague. In this tragedy we can find different types of knowledge: on the one hand a rational knowledge of techniques (which in turn comes from a holy semiotic knowledge) and on the other hand an initiatory knowledge closely linked to the medicine which also includes interpretation.