Culture, Sustainability, and Medicine in the Twenty-first Century. Re-grounding the Focus of Medicine Amidst the Current “Global Systemic Shift” and the Forces of the Market: Elements for a Contemporary Social Philosophy of Medicine

Giordano, James; Hutchison, Paul; Benedikter, Roland
March 2010
International Journal of Politics, Culture & Society;2010, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p29
Academic Journal
This article analyzes the role and the status of medicine within the “post-modern” culture(s) of the West. As we know, culture is a major factor that influences the perception, the interpretation, and the expectations toward medicine, medical institutions, medical politics, and the persons involved with them. When culture changes, the social construct called “medicine” changes. Today, the Western condition of “post-modernity” finds itself in a process of rapid change due to the “global systemic shift” that is manifesting since a couple of years within all four main systemic logics and discoursive patterns of Western societies: in culture, religion, politics, and economics. In this situation, the article tries to elaborate on crucial questions about how a contemporary social philosophy of medicine can be delineated within the current “global systemic shift” and what some consequences and perspectives could be. It pleas for an integrative philosophy of medicine which has to strive to re-integrate the “(de) constructivist” patterns of “nominalistic” post-modern thought (dedicated primarily to freedom and equality) with the “idealistic” patterns of “realistic” neo-humanism (dedicated primarily to the “essence” of human dignity and the possibility of intersubjective morality). Only the institution of a balanced “subjective-objective” paradigm can ensure medicine its appropriate place, role, and status within our rapidly changing society.


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