On the Normativity of the Immune System

Medicine Studies 3 (1):29-39 (2011)
In the 1940s, Georges Canguilhem has established the concept of biological normativity on the level of the organism in his key work on “ The Normal and the Pathological ”. We would like to present a contemporary analysis of Canguilhem’s work, set it in context with more recent results from the field of complexity and immunology, and evaluate the problematic whether normativity is a genuine capacity of the organism. Based on Canguilhem’s conditions of the definition of biological normativity, we show that the immune system as one of the complex systems of the living equally shares the capacity to be normative. We will then conclude that normativity can also be conceptually independently displayed on the level of complex systems of the living
Keywords Immunological Theory  Concepts in medicine  Georges Canguilhem  Epistemology  Immunology  Normal and pathological
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DOI 10.1007/s12376-011-0061-9
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Peter Trnka (2003). Subjectivity and Values in Medicine: The Case of Canguilhem. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 28 (4):427 – 446.

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