At the very end of the Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Book IV, Chapter 21), John Locke outlines a division of the sciences (“All that can fall within the compass of human understanding…”). In these definitions, Locke sees science as being of three sorts. “Natural philosophy” or “physica” (IV, 21, 2, p. 442) is concerned with the “nature of things, as they are in themselves, their relations, and their manner of operation” (IV, 21, 1, p. 442). “Ethics” or “practica” (IV, 21, 3, p. 442) takes as its object of study what “man himself ought to do, as a rational and voluntary agent, for the attainment of any end, especially happiness” (IV, 21, 1, p. 442). The third science Locke calls “the doctrine of signs” or “Semeiotike” (IV, 21, 4, p. 443). Its field of study is “the ways and means whereby the knowledge of both [physica/natural philosophy] and [practica/ethics] are attained and communicated” (IV, 21, 1, p. 442). Locke goes on to describe this division, separation, purification, or set of categories as “the first and most general, as well as natural division of the objects of our understanding.” Semeiotica is set apart, “in order to knowledge.”
“The etymology of the term is identical to that of semiotics (from the Greek σημεῖον, semèion , which means”sign“, and from the suffix -iké,”relative to“) but, by custom, the word”sem e iotica” is used only to define that branch of medicine whose object of study are the (subjective) symptoms and (objective) signs of disease, and how both must be integrated to arrive at the diagnosis.”
Translated to English, semeiotica refers to symptomatology and its practice in medicine.
“In a broad sense, the symptomatology is the set of the study anamnestic, the physical or objective examination, as well as of the findings of the evidence sought in examinations laboratory and with special diagnostic techniques (radiology, electrocardiography , endoscopy , etc.).”
“Anamnesis, in medicine , is the collection from the direct voice of the patient and / or his family (for example, parents in the case of an infant or child), of all information, news and sensations that can help the doctor , nurses and other health professions to direct themselves towards a correct diagnosis of pathology or an adequate health procedure.”