In the second half of the 20th century, the body has become a central theme of intellectual debate. How should we perceive the human body? Is it best understood biologically, experientially, culturally? How do social institutions exercise power over the body and determine norms of health and behavior? The answers arrived at by phenomenologists, social theorists, and feminists have radically challenged our cenventional notions of the body dating back to 17th century Cartesian thought. This is the first volume to systematically explore the range of contemporary thought concerning the body and draw out its crucial implications for medicine. Its authors suggest that many of the problems often found in modern medicine -- dehumanized treatment, overspecialization, neglect of the mind's healing resources -- are directly traceable to medicine's outmoded concepts of the body. New and exciting alternatives are proposed by some of the foremost physicians and philosophers working in the medical humanities today.
Table of ContentsIntroduction. Section 1: Theoretical Overviews. 1. Phenomenological Critiques. A Tale of Two Bodies: The Cartesian Corpse and the Lived Body; D. Leder. Why aren't More Doctors Phenomenologists? R.J. Baron. 2. Sociopolitical Critiques. Foucault's Political Body in Medical Praxis; C. Spitzack. On the Body in Medical Self-Care and Holistic Medicine; A. Weston. 3. Cultural and Historical Perspectives. A Confucian Perspective on Embodiment; Tu Wei-Ming. Parted Bodies, Departed Souls: The Body in Ancient Medicine and Anatomy; R.M. Zaner. Section 2: Regional Studies. 4. Specific Diseases. The Body in Multiple Sclerosis: A Patient's Perspective; S.K. Toombs. Psychosomatics, the Lived Body, and Anthropological Medicine: Concerning a Case of Atopic Dermatitis; G. Northoff, M.A. Schwartz, O.P. Wiggins. The Body with AIDS: A Post-Structuralist Approach; J. Murphy. 5. Women's Bodies: Body Image, Size, and Objectification. Obesity, Objectification, and Identity: The Encounter with the Body as an Object in Obesity; D. Moss. Eating Disorders: The Feminist Challenge to the Concept of Pathology; S. Bordo. Breasted Experience: The Look and the Feeling; I.M. Young. Coda: The Body of the Future. The Body of the Future; E.J. Cassell. Index.