The challenge to biomedicine: A foundations perspective

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 14 (2):165-191 (1989)
Abstract
The basic premise of today's scientific medicine is that the ‘book of man’ is written in the language of the biological sciences, ultimately molecular genetics and biochemistry. The patient is a complex biological organism and disease is a deviation from the norm of somatic parameters. At the same time, many major contemporary diseases are reported to have psychosocial and environmental components in their etiology. Hence the challenge: how can a medical model be both scientific and conceptually well-suited to today's disease burden? I argue that certain contemporary "postmodern" sciences support alternative, non-reductionist (self-organizational) premises. So doing, they offer an infrastructure for a medical model at once scientific and responsive to the diseases at hand. Keywords: biomedicine (biological medicine), natural science paradigm, Cartesian dualism, self-organization, postmodern sciences, self-referentiality CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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