Yearning for certainty and the critique of medicine as “science”

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (3):215-229 (2009)

Authors
Mark H. Waymack
Loyola University, Chicago
Abstract
A debate has simmered concerning the nature of clinical reasoning, especially diagnostic reasoning: Is it a “science” or an “art”? The trend since the seventeenth century has been to regard medical reasoning as scientific reasoning, and the most advanced clinical reasoning is the most scientific. However, in recent years, several scholars have argued that clinical reasoning is clearly not “science” reasoning, but is in fact a species of narratival or hermeneutical reasoning. The study reviews this dispute, and argues that in a theoretical sense, the dispute rests upon a naïve—but very popular—caricature of what constitutes “science reasoning.” But, if the dispute rests upon just such a caricature, why is it so persistent? The study concludes by suggesting that we, as patients and as physicians, have deep psychological tendencies that incline us to adopt the very naïve “science” concept/model of diagnostic reasoning, even if (or when) we understand its inaptness.
Keywords Clinical reasoning  Clinical science  Narrative  Hermeneutics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11017-009-9107-3
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,928
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.Hume David - 1955 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), The Monist. Oxford University Press. pp. 112.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Polanyi's Tacit Knowing and the Relevance of Epistemology to Clinical Medicine.Stephen G. Henry - 2010 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 16 (2):292-297.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rational Diagnosis and Treatment.Henrik R. Wulff - 1986 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 11 (2):123-134.
Causal Reasoning and the Diagnostic Process.Dominick A. Rizzi - 1994 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 15 (3):315-333.
Clinical Reasoning: New Challenges.William E. Stempsey - 2009 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (3):173-179.
What is Diagnosis? Some Critical Reflections.Caroline Whitbeck - 1981 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2 (3):319-329.
Competing Conceptions of Diagnostic Reasoning – is There a Way Out?Reidun Førde - 1998 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 19 (1):59-72.
Medicine as a Form of Practical Understanding.Ineke Widdershoven-Heerding - 1987 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2 (2).

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-06-27

Total views
85 ( #83,532 of 2,319,330 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #578,830 of 2,319,330 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature