On the medical art: Health and disease between metaphysics, epistemology and medicine

Milisavljević, Vladimir and Kamerer, Eva (2016) On the medical art: Health and disease between metaphysics, epistemology and medicine. Theoria, 59 (3). pp. 5-22. ISSN 0351-2274 eISSN: 2406-081X

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The article treats one of the major issues of contemporary philosophy of medicine - the difficulty of giving a purely objective definition of health and disease - and examines its implications for the question of the epistemological status of medicine: is it possible to define medicine as a science, or should we be contented with a more modest, traditional view that medicine is simply the art of healing? In the first part of the article, this problem is shown to be present already in the debates of conflicting medical schools of ancient Greece. More generally, scepticism regarding the scientific status of medicine is explained in terms of the inner tension, which also shapes the Aristotelian concept of medical art, between the physician’s task of healing an individual patient and the universalistic aspect of medical knowledge. The second part of the text deals with the shift of perspective in our understanding of living organisms brought about by Darwin’s theory of evolution and with its consequences for the conception of health and disease. In this context, we examine the shortcomings of the leading contemporary theory of health proposed by Christopher Boorse and point out to some fundamental affinities between evolutionary developmental biology and personalized medicine.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: evolution, medicine, norm, skepticism, health
Institutional centre: Centre for philosophy
Depositing User: Vesna Jovanović
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2020 11:17
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2020 11:17
URI: http://iriss.idn.org.rs/id/eprint/361

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