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Philosophy of Medicine

Alex Broadbent


Philosophy of Medicine seeks to answer two questions: (1) what is medicine? and (2) what should we think of it? The first question is motivated by the observation that medicine has existed and continues to exist in many different forms in different times and places. There is no activity or belief that is common to all medical traditions in all times and places. What, if anything, makes us count these activities as varieties of the same thing—namely, medicine? The book distinguishes the goal and business of medicine, arguing that the goal is cure, while the business of medicine cannot be, becau ... More

Keywords: philosophy of medicine, decolonizing medicine, Medical Cosmopolitanism, Medical Nihilism, Curative Thesis, Inquiry Thesis, secondary property, theory of health, health, complementary medicine, understanding and medicine, prediction and medicine

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190612139
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190612139.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alex Broadbent, author
Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Johannesburg