The Mirage of Health: Utopia, Progress, and Biological Change / Edition 1

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'Complete freedom from disease and from struggle is almost incompatible with the process of living, ' Rene Dubos asserted in this classic essay on ecology and health. All the accomplishments of science and technology, he argued, will not bring the utopian dream of universal well-being, because they ignore the dynamic process of adaptation to a constantly changing environment that every living organism must face.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813512600
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1987
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 292
  • Sales rank: 1,505,788
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Table of Contents

I. The Gardens of Eden 1
The Golden Ages
The Return to Nature
Health through Science
Health as Adaptation
II. Biological and Social Adaptation 30
The Haunts of Life
Biological Adaptations in Man
Adaptation through Instinctive Patterns of Behavior
Adaptation through Social Mechanisms
Unstability of Ecological Systems
Social Determinants of Human Fitness
III. Struggle and Partnership in the Living World 62
The Struggle for Existence
Man and the World of Microbes
Infection versus Disease
Adaptive Mechanisms of Resistance to Infection
Symbiosis and Parasitism
IV. Environment and Disease 95
The Weather, the Potato Blight, and the Destiny of the Irish
The Doctrine of Specific Etiology
Direct and Indirect Effects of the External Environment
The Internal Environment
Interplays between the External and the Internal Environment
The Past as Factor of the Environment
V. Hygeia and Asclepius 129
Gods of Health
Hippocratic Wisdom and the Goldheaded Cane
The Philosopher's Search for Health
The Magic Bullets of Medicine
Drugs and the Conquest of Disease
VI. Social Patterns of Health and of Disease 170
The History of Diseases
Hunger and Surfeit
The Diseases of Pestilence and of Sanitation
Modern Horsemen of the Apocalypse
From Madness to Boredom
Medicine and Society
VII. Effects of Disease on Populations and on Civilization 220
Food, Disease, and Population Trends
Effects of Disease and Nutrition on Military and Political History
Disease and Social Evolution
Effects of Disease on Cultural Forces
VIII. Utopias and Human Goals 258
Arcadias and Utopias
From Biological Adaptation to Social Evolution
Social Changes and Ecological Equilibria
Health, Happiness, and Human Values
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