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Writings on Medicine

Overview


At the time of his death in 1995, Georges Canguilhem was a highly respected historian of science and medicine, whose engagement with questions of normality, the ideologization of scientific thought, and the conceptual history of biology had marked the thought of philosophers such as Michel Foucault, Louis Althusser, Pierre Bourdieu, and Gilles Deleuze. This collection of short, incisive, and highly accessible essays on the major concepts of modern medicine shows Canguilhem at the peak of his use of historical ...
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Overview


At the time of his death in 1995, Georges Canguilhem was a highly respected historian of science and medicine, whose engagement with questions of normality, the ideologization of scientific thought, and the conceptual history of biology had marked the thought of philosophers such as Michel Foucault, Louis Althusser, Pierre Bourdieu, and Gilles Deleuze. This collection of short, incisive, and highly accessible essays on the major concepts of modern medicine shows Canguilhem at the peak of his use of historical practice for philosophical engagement. In order to elaborate a philosophy of medicine, Canguilhem examines paramount problems such as the definition and uses of health, the decline of the Hippocratic understanding of nature, the experience of disease, the limits of psychology in medicine, myths and realities of therapeutic practices, the difference between cure and healing, the organism's self-regulation, and medical metaphors linking the organism to society. Writings on Medicine is at once an excellent introduction to Canguilhem's work and a forceful, insightful, and accessible engagement with elemental concepts in medicine. The book is certain to leave its imprint on anthropology, history, philosophy, bioethics, and the social studies of medicine.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Thanks to the translation and careful introduction by Stefanos Geroulanos and Todd Meyers, this precious posthumoulsy edited collection of essays by Georges Canguilhem is now accessible to the English reader. Canguilhem's late writings on medicine form an important complement to his works on the history and epistemology of the life sciences as assembled in his Etudes and in his late work on Rationality and Ideology in the Life Sciences.Hans-Jorg Rheinberger

Celebrated as historian of the life sciences and epistemologist of the normal and the pathological, Georges Canguilhem, in this series of little known essays, proves also to be a critical observer of medicine and a reflexive analyst of the concept of health. One should be grateful to Stefanos Geroulanos and Todd Meyers for continuing their systematic translation of the often dispersed but coherent works of the French philosopher, whose influence on major contemporary thinkers and social scientists is increasingly acknowledged.-Didier Fassin

"Canguilhem's Writings on Medicine is a short book that every dean of every medical school and every school of public health should consider as required reading for their students. . . . It is the very best introduction available to Canguilhem's ideas--ideas that remain coordinates for navigating some of the most troubling questions in contemporary medicine. . . . If you like thinking about medicine as well as doing it, Canguilhem offers rich rewards."-Richard Horton, The Lancet

"If you like thinking about medicine as well as doing it, Canguilhem offers rich rewards." -The Lancet

"For those who want insight on science and philosophy in the field of medicine, "Writings on Medicine" is a strong addition to college library essay collections."-Midwest Book Review

"Such a collection will undoubtedly further Canguilhem scholarship and provide valuable contributions to various contemporary debates within the life sciences, from the relation between evolution and medicine, and the significance of the doctor-patient relation, to the very nature of health and disease."-Tijdschrift voor Filosofie

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823234325
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2012
  • Series: Forms of Living Series
  • Edition description: 2
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 999,625
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Trained in philosophy and medicine, Georges Canguilhem (1904-1995) remains one of France's most influential philosophers of science. Stefanos Geroulanos is Assistant Professor of Modern European Intellectual History at New York University. He is the author of An Atheism That Is Not Humanist Emerges in French Thought and the co-translator of Georges Canguilhem's Knowledge of Life (Fordham). Todd Meyers is Assistant Professor of Medical Anthropology at Wayne State University and the co-editor of Georges Canguilhem's Knowledge of Life (Fordham).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Georges Canguilhem's Critique of Medical Reason Stefanos Geroulanos Todd Meyers 1

1 The Idea of Nature in Medical Theory and Practice 25

2 Diseases 34

3 Health: Popular Concept and Philosophical Question 43

4 Is a Pedagogy of Healing Possible? 53

5 The Problem of Regulation in the Organism and in Society 67

Notes 79

Index 101

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