Research problems and methods in the philosophy of medicine

Loughlin, Michael ORCID: 0000-0002-2234-2146, Bluhm, Robyn and Gupta, Mona (2017) Research problems and methods in the philosophy of medicine. In: The Bloomsbury Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Medicine. Bloomsbury, London, UK, pp. 29-62.

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Abstract

Philosophy of medicine encompasses a broad range of methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives—from the uses of statistical reasoning and probability theory in epidemiology and evidence-based medicine to questions about how to recognize the uniqueness of individual patients in medical humanities, person-centered care, and values-based practice; and from debates about causal ontology to questions of how to cultivate epistemic and moral virtue in practice. Apart from being different ways of thinking about medical practices, do (and should) these different philosophical approaches have anything in common? Are they committed to incompatible assumptions about the nature of science and its relationship to experience, value, and the art of medicine, or are different approaches nonetheless complementary? The chapter examines the questions these different approaches and perspectives raise and considers why so many theorists of medicine seek to find a “base” or “center” for medicine—as though there is, or should be, some general conceptual thread linking the things we call “usual clinical practice” in the real world. It further considers whether there are alternative approaches to the philosophy of medicine, which do not embody this philosophical assumption; and it suggests that a key tool for evaluating approaches must be their ability to contribute something of genuine value to clinical medicine.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Comprehensive review of current theoretical and methodological debates in the philosophy of medicine for Marcum, J (ed.) The Bloomsbury Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Medicine, Bloomsbury, London, 29-62. ISBN 978-1-4742-3300-2
Subjects: Medicine and health
Philosophy
Depositing User: Michael Loughlin
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2018 23:39
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2018 08:47
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/5121

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