Epistemological Hermeneutics In Clinical Praxis

Paperback (Print)
Not Available on BN.com

More About This Textbook


This dissertation contributes to the growing literature concerning the appropriateness and potential for hermeneutics in medicine. I claim that hermeneutics is fundamental to the conception of 'knowing' required in clinical praxis. Certainly, the physician utilizes theoretical knowledge gleaned from scientific studies and randomized clinical trials in the clinical encounter, but in a practical way using inherited paradigms, pragmatic problem solving, probabilities, interpretation, and empathetic communication for the well-being of particular patients. In fact, hermeneutics is a necessary element for a reflection on clinical praxis that is both descriptive of what actually happens in the clinic, and prescriptive of how to improve clinical praxis. Among those arguing that clinical diagnosis and judgment are a hermeneutical, and not merely an empirical process, scholars have been divided between the dialogical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer and the textual hermeneutics of Paul Ricoeur. Although Gadamer's insight into the process of understanding and interpretation as a dialogue with the other is profoundly helpful, I argue that Ricoeur's philosophical hermeneutics is an appropriate and fruitful approach to follow, precisely because it integrates an objectifying moment of explanation into the discursive activity of understanding. Ricoeur builds explanation into his hermeneutical arc, based not on external needs or interests, but on an analysis of language as the medium of understanding and interpretation. Language, especially in its objective form as a text, displays a distantiation of meaning from event yielding what Ricoeur calls "semantic autonomy." Semantic autonomy justifies the application of explanatory methods to texts as a necessary moment of testing and verification within the whole of the hermeneutical process. Furthermore, the emphasis on the textual nature of the clinical encounter is in fact a strength when viewed through the lens of Paul Ricoeur's philosophical hermeneutic, because it places the experience and narrative of the patient on equal footing with the objective analysis of lab reports and instrumental readings.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781243756435
  • Publisher: BiblioLabsII
  • Publication date: 9/9/2011
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)