Writings on Medicine
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Fordham University Press
Series: Forms of Living
Title Page, Copyright
We would like to acknowledge the undertaking assumed by Armand Zaloszyc in organizing the original volume by Éditions du Seuil. Thanks go to Warren Breckman, Michael Carhart, and Allan Megill for their editorial interventions to an earlier draft of the introduction and to Helen Tartar and Bud Bynack at Fordham University Press ...
Introduction: Georges Canguilhem’s Critique of Medical Reason
At the time of his death in 1995, Georges Canguilhem was a highly respected epistemologist and historian of biology and medicine. He was known for having extended and transformed traditions set by Gaston Bachelard and Henri Bergson, and as an influential figure for generations of scholars, including Michel Foucault, Franc¸ois Dagognet, Louis Althusser, ...
1. The Idea of Nature in Medical Theory and Practice
One may wonder whether the doctor-patient relationship has ever succeeded in being a simple, instrumental relation that could be described in such a way that the cause and the effect, the therapeutic gesture and its result, would be directly related one to the other, on the same plane and at the same level, without being mediated by something foreign to its space of intelligibility. ...
At the beginning of his Essays on Painting, Diderot writes: ‘‘Nature does nothing incorrectly. Every form, beautiful or ugly, has its reason; and of all the beings that exist, there is not one that is not as it must be.’’1 One can imagine an Essays on Medicine that would begin with: ‘‘Nature does nothing arbitrarily. ...
3. Health: Popular Concept and Philosophical Question
"Who among us did not speak of what is healthy and what is harmful before the arrival of Hippocrates?’’ This is how Epictetus, in his Discourses, argues for the popular pertinence of an a priori notion of the healthy and of health—a health whose relation to objects or behavior, moreover, he considers to be uncertain.1 ...
4. Is a Pedagogy of Healing Possible?
Understood as an event in the doctor-patient relationship, healing is at first sight what the patient expects from the doctor, but not what he always obtains from him. There is thus a discrepancy between the patient’s hope regarding the power that he attributes to the doctor on the grounds of the latter’s knowledge and the doctor’s recognition of the limits of his own efficacy. ...
5. The Problem of Regulation in the Organism and in Society
When my friend Pierre-Maxime Schuhl1 asked me to lecture at a meeting of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, I accepted gladly and with great pleasure; it is an honor for me, and I only regret having had to pose this one condition—for which I apologize—which resulted in us meeting at a time so out of the ordinary. ...