David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 24 (5):407-431 (2003)
The relevance of the Aristotelian concept ofphronesis – practical wisdom – for medicine and medical ethics has been much debated during the last two decades. This paper attempts to show how Aristotle’s practical philosophy was of central importance toHans-Georg Gadamer and to the development of his philosophical hermeneutics, and how,accordingly, the concept of phronesiswill be central to a Gadamerian hermeneutics of medicine. If medical practice is conceived of as an interpretative meeting between doctor and patient with the aim of restoring the health of the latter, then phronesis is the mark of the good physician, who through interpretation comes to know the best thing todo for this particular patient at this particular time. The potential fruitfulness of this hermeneutical appropriation of phronesis for the field of medical ethics is also discussed. The concept can be (and has been) used in critiques of the conceptualization of bioethics as the application of principle-based theory to clinical situations, since Aristotle’s point is exactly that problems of praxis cannot be approached in this way. It can also point theway for alternative forms of medical ethics, such as virtue ethics or a phenomenological andhermeneutical ethics. The latter alternative would have to address the phenomena of healthand the good life as issues for medical practice. It would also have to map out in detail the terrain of the medical meeting and the acts of interpretation through which phronesis is exercised.
|Keywords||Aristotle Gadamer Heidegger medical hermeneutics phenomenology of health and illness phronesis virtue ethics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Kieran Bonner (2009). A Dialogical Exploration of the Grey Zone of Health and Illness: Medical Science, Anthropology, and Plato on Alcohol Consumption. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (2):81-103.
Ingunn Elstad & Kirsti Torjuul (2009). The Issue of Life: Aristotle in Nursing Perspective. Nursing Philosophy 10 (4):275-286.
Jean-Christophe Weber (2012). Pleasure in Medical Practice. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (2):153-164.
Similar books and articles
Edmund D. Pellegrino (2008). The Philosophy of Medicine Reborn: A Pellegrino Reader. University of Notre Dame Press.
F. Svenaeus (2000). Hermeneutics of Clinical Practice: The Question of Textuality. [REVIEW] Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 21 (2):171-189.
Duff Waring (2000). Why the Practice of Medicine is Not a Phronetic Activity. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 21 (2):139-151.
Vittorio Lingiardi & Agnese Grieco (1999). Hermeneutics and the Philosophy of Medicine: Hans-Georg Gadamer'splatonic Metaphor. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 20 (5):413-422.
B. Hofman (2002). Medicine as Practical Wisdom ( Phronesis ). Poiesis and Praxis 1 (2):135-149.
Henk Have (1994). The Hyperreality of Clinical Ethics: A Unitary Theory and Hermeneutics. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 15 (2).
Edmund D. Pellegrino (1993). The Virtues in Medical Practice. Oxford University Press.
Dawson S. Schultz & Franco A. Carnevale (1996). Engagement and Suffering in Responsible Caregiving: On Overcoming Maleficience in Health Care. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 17 (3).
D. S. Schultz & L. V. Flasher (2011). Charles Taylor, Phronesis, and Medicine: Ethics and Interpretation in Illness Narrative. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (4):394-409.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads62 ( #24,884 of 1,102,912 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #36,679 of 1,102,912 )
How can I increase my downloads?