Why medicine cannot be a science

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 6 (2):183-208 (1981)
Abstract
My thesis is that, although medicine is scientific, it is not and can not become a science. After rejecting as flawed an argument attempting to show that medicine is already a science, I argue that a comparison of such basic, defining features as internal aims, criteria of success, and principles regulating the enterprises demonstrate that medicine and science are inherently different. I then argue that while it may be possible to reduce the cognitive content of medicine to biology, medicine itself cannot be reduced, for as an enterprise it possesses features that make it an inappropriate subject of reduction. I conclude by indicating four results that emerge from recognizing that medicine and science are basically distinct. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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