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Phenomenology’s Place in the Philosophy of Medicine

Burch, Matthew (2021) 'Phenomenology’s Place in the Philosophy of Medicine.' Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics: philosophy of medical research and practice. ISSN 0166-2031 (In Press)

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With its rise in popularity, work in the phenomenology of medicine has also attracted its fair share of criticism. One such criticism maintains that since the phenomenology of medicine does nothing but describe the experience of illness, it offers nothing we cannot obtain more easily by deploying simpler qualitative research methods. Fredrik Svenaeus has pushed back against this charge, insisting that the phenomenology of medicine not only describes but also defines illness. Although I agree with Svenaeus’s claim that the phenomenology of medicine does more than merely describe what it’s like to be ill, once we acknowledge its more far-reaching theoretical aspirations, we see that it faces an even more difficult set of objections. Taking a cue from recent work by Rebecca Kukla, Russell Powell, and Eric Scarffe, I argue that the phenomenology of medicine could answer these objections by developing an institutional definition of illness. This would not only allow the phenomenology of medicine to answer its critics, but it would do so in a way that preserves its major achievements and extends its reach within the philosophy of medicine.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > Philosophy and Art History, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2021 11:18
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:24

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