Incurable suffering from the “hiatus theoreticus”? Some epistemological problems in modern medicine and the clinical relevance of philosophy of medicine

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 19 (3):229-251 (1998)
Up to now neither the question, whether all theoretical medical knowledge can at least be described as scientific, nor the one how exactly access to the existing scientific and theoretical medical knowledge during clinical problem-solving is made, has been sufficiently answered. Scientific theories play an important role in controlling clinical practice and improving the quality of clinical care in modern medicine on the one hand, and making it vindicable on the other. Therefore, the vagueness of unexplicit interrelations between medicine''s stock of knowledge and medical practice appears as a gap in the theoretical concept of modern medicine which can be described as Hiatus theoreticus in the anatomy of medicine. A central intention of the paper is to analyze the role of philosophy of medicine for the clarification of the theoretical basis of medical practice. Clinical relevance and normativity in the sense of modern theory of science are suggested as criteria to establish a differentiation between philosophy of medicine as a primary medical discipline and the application of general philosophy in medicine.
Keywords biomedical knowledge  causality in medicine  exactness in medicine  knowledge modelling in medicine  philosophy of medicine  theoretical knowledge and clinical relevance
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DOI 10.1023/A:1009961831768
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