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Tenacious Assumptions in Western Medicine

  • Deborah R. Gordon
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Part of the Culture, Illness and Healing book series (CIHE, volume 13)

Abstract

While biomedicine has successfully created and hoarded a body of technical knowledge to call its own, its knowledge and practices draw upon a background of tacit understandings that extend far beyond medical boundaries. The biological reductionism by which modern medicine is frequently characterized is more theoretical than actual; in its effects, biomedicine speaks beyond its explicit reductionist reference through the implicit ways it teaches us to interpret ourselves, our world, and the rela-tionships between humans, nature, self, and society. It draws upon and projects cosmology (ways of ordering the world), ontology (assumptions about reality and being), epistemology (assumptions about knowledge and truth), understandings of personhood, society, morality, and religion (what is sacred and profane). Although biomedicine both constitutes and is constituted by society, this interdependency is nevertheless denied by biomedical theory and ideology which claim neutrality and universality.

Keywords

Western Medicine Moral Inquiry Western Tradition Vintage Book Naturalist Epistemology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • Deborah R. Gordon

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