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We have idealised medicine and its capacity to improve our lives. It’s now time for this discipline to have a radical rethink and embrace a new vision of human health.
Medicine is obviously of huge importance to our society. Two of its main aims are caring and curing: it sounds simple, but in order to pursue these goals medicine must rely on theories, policies, concepts and inferences that are complicated and controversial. This book describes some of the controversies inherent in medical science and some of the main debates surrounding the subject.
Is good health really only a matter of not being ill or is it something more? Is illness merely an abnormal physiological state or is it a condition that has an evaluative component? What kind of evidence do we need to justify causal inferences about the effectiveness of medical interventions? Is medicine successful in its intentions to cure and care for people, in other words, are conventional medical interventions generally effective? Does homeopathy work? Should medical innovations be protected by patents or should they be contributions to the common good, outside the scope of intellectual property laws?
Jacob Stegenga introduces us to the philosophy of medicine, addressing its conceptual, metaphysical, epistemological and political aspects and their inevitable ethical implications, presenting not only the "canonical core" of this discipline, but also how it is innovatively practised today by its foremost experts. The landscape has changed a great deal in the last fifteen years, and this volume describes not only the archaeological substrate but also the current state of this field.
Jacob Stegenga is a professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge.
Release date: 2021
Dimensions cm 15 x 22,5