The 'medical body' as philosophy's arena

Medicine, as Byron Good argues, reconstitutes thehuman body of our daily experience as a medical body,unfamiliar outside medicine. This reconstitution can be seen intwo ways: as a salutary reminder of the extent to which thereality even of the human body is constructed; and as anarena for what Stephen Toulmin distinguishes as theintersection of natural science and history, in which many ofphilosophy''s traditional questionsare given concrete and urgent form.This paper begins by examining a number of dualities between themedical body and the body familiar in daily experience. Toulmin''s epistemological analysis of clinical medicine ascombining both universal and existential knowledge is thenconsidered. Their expression, in terms of attention,respectively, to natural science and to personal history, isexplored through the epistemological contrasts between themedical body and the familiar body, noting the traditionalphilosophical questions which they in turn illustrate
Keywords epistemology  human body  medical body  medical gaze  philosophy of medicine
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DOI 10.1023/A:1009980506786
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Rolf Ahlzén (2007). Medical Humanities — Arts and Humanistic Science. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 10 (4):385-393.

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