Experimentation and the Crisis of Medicine

  • Samuel TalcottEmail author


This chapter returns to questions about experimentation, first presenting François Dagognet’s investigation of medical empiricism and appeal to a clinical anthropology as an attempted extension of Canguilhem’s work. I find Canguilhem’s response in his return to René Leriche. Whereas Dagognet implies that medicine’s empiricism arises from its impotence before nature and conceals clinical knowledge of man, Canguilhem questions humanist medicine by insisting that therapeutics today works by wounding and medicine has become anti-natural. His “Therapeutics, Experimentation, and Responsibility,” I show, considers further consequences in describing the medical crisis afflicting industrial societies. Medicine, he finds, has become perhaps the pre-eminent political problem for modern societies, providing no anthropology. I conclude by considering Foucault’s Birth of the Clinic as a critical extension from Canguilhem’s essay.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HumanitiesUniversity of the SciencesPhiladelphiaUSA

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