This chapter begins with a description of the historical rise of biomedicine and the parallel decline of humoral medicine, and goes on to compare their strengths and weaknesses. It is then shown that alternative medicine has conceptual links with humoral medicine, and because it is defined in relation to biomedicine, its status depends on the view that is taken of biomedical orthodoxy.

It is argued that the inherent and fatal flaw of biomedicine is its denial of pluralism, which is expressed in an overemphasis on Asclepius at the expense of Hygeia. It is therefore claimed that it cannot survive, and that over the next century, will be replaced by a new medical cosmology, which will allow the Asclepian and Hygeian poles of medicine to be better balanced and integrated. It is not, though, that biomedicine will be replaced by a different unitary system, but that it will be transformed within a more comprehensive and plural framework which has its roots in humoralism, and be capable of reassessing and absorbing lessons from both biomedicine and alternative medicine.