Medicine as Combining Natural and Human Science

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (4):335-341 (2011)
Abstract
Medicine is unique in being a combination of natural science and human science in which both are essential. Therefore, in order to make sense of medical practice, we need to begin by drawing a clear distinction between the natural and the human sciences. In this paper, I try to bring the old distinction between the Geistes and Naturwissenschaften up to date by defending the essential difference between a realist explanatory theoretical study of nature including the body in which the scientist discovers the causal properties of natural kinds and the interpretive understanding of human beings as embodied agents which, as Charles Taylor has convincingly argued, requires a hermeneutic account of self-interpreting human practices
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