David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 15 (3) (1994)
This paper examines today's received scientific medical model with respect to its ability to satisfy two conditions: (1) its explanatory adequacy relative to the full range of findings in the medical literature, including those indicating a correlation between psychosocial variables and disease susceptibility; and (2) the fit between its physicalist patient and disease concepts and what today's basic sciences, so-called sciences of complexity, tell us about the way matter, notably complex systems (e.g. patients), behave and the nature of scientific explanation. I conclude that the received (biomedical) model falls short on both counts and to satisfy these conditions is to articulate a formal successor model. This successor must be guided by premises consistent with the findings and methods of today's basic sciences on which an applied science like medicine depends for its validity. Additionally, the successor model must be able to explain (and predict) the full range of clinical findings, both those that its predecessors explains and at least some of those that it does not. The aim of the paper is to identify such a model.
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