Giovanni Boniolo & Marco J. Nathan (eds.), Philosophy of Molecular Medicine. Foundational Issues in Research and Practice, New York and London: Routledge, 2017, 287 pp., £115
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Philosophy of Molecular Medicine offers 12 insightful chapters of philosophical and historical reflections on foundational issues in molecular medicine. The book is organized into four themes: The nature, origin, and scope of molecular medicine (Part 1), explanation (Part 2), representation and modelling (Part 3), and inference (Part 4). The book can be read with one or more of these philosophical topics in focus, but I shall here concentrate on methodological and conceptual issues that highlight what is particularly interesting about molecular medicine from a philosophical perspective.
Is there something distinctive about philosophy of molecular medicine which is not already covered by philosophy of molecular biology or philosophy of medicine? Boniolo (Chapter 1) argues that the novelty of molecular medicine does not lie in the focus on the molecular level per se, but rather in a methodological fusion of the observational method of clinical medicine with the experimental method of...