Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (2):205-214 (2020)

This essay investigates the hermeneutic idea of health and the resulting formative notion of treatment. In its first part, the essay diagnoses, based on some texts of the German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer, the increasing technologization of contemporary professions and, specifically in the case of medicine, the risk of disappearance of self-treatment that this technologization causes. In addition to medicine, it also briefly takes psychoanalysis and pedagogy to exemplify the risk of over-specialized professionalization. In the second part, the essay seeks to doubly ground the hermeneutical idea of health: on the one hand, in the heritage of Hippocratic medicine that supports Gadamer's point of view and, on the other hand, in dialogical praxis, considering it the core of philosophical hermeneutics itself. Still in its second part, the essay interprets three aspects of the Gadamerian dialogue, translating them into medical professional practice. Finally, in the third and last part, the essay shows that hermeneutically-understood medical treatment leads to self-treatment, which is an indispensable, but not sufficient, condition of the patient's cure. In summary, when patients are mobilized by the dialogical praxis of medical discernment, they are more able to understand the importance of their taking treatment as self-treatment.
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DOI 10.1007/s11019-020-09941-8
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Paideia.R. G. A. & Werner Jaeger - 1935 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 55 (4):257.

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