Abstract

The ethics of anatomy bears on the ways in which we present and behold human bodies and human remains, as well as on the duties we have with regard to the persons whose bodies or body parts are presented. Anatomy is also a mode of thought and of social organization. Following Merleau-Ponty's assertion that the human body belongs both to the particular and to the metaphysical, I contend that art's ways of rendering of the particular in human anatomy often bring into relief metaphysical and ethical insights relevant to clinical medicine. This paper discusses the art of Gideon Gechtman, Mary Ellen Mark, Shari Zolla, and Christine Borland. It considers the relationship of these artists to earlier artistic traditions and the implications of their work for contemporary medicine and the biopsychosocial paradigm. Andrew Wyeth, the Visible Male Project, the Isenheim Altarpiece by Grünewald, and an anonymous Dutch Baroque portrait are also discussed.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 104-123
Launched on MUSE
2007-01-23
Open Access
No
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