Abstract/Details

A pragmatist recovery of health: Rethinking the limits of biomedicine


2011 2011

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Abstract (summary)

This project applies insights primarily from classical American pragmatism to pressing contemporary debates regarding the biomedical model of health. More specifically, it focuses on the ethical implications of theoretical frameworks in philosophy of medicine and the technologies that enable their practical application in clinical practice, with a particular focus on the relationship between quantitative and existential-qualitative dimensions of health and our conceptions of them. Whereas mainstream biomedical ethical debate tends to be limited to applications of established ethical paradigms to biomedical problems, thereby effectively taking the biomedical conceptualization of health for granted, I argue that biomedicine, as articulated by the biostatistical theory of health (BST) and practiced by evidence-based medicine (EBM), in presupposing a reductive, strictly quantitative view of the human person, carries with it some ethically undesirable practical consequences. The dissertation addresses these problems, first, by reconstructing the concept of health in a manner that remains scientifically respectable while doing justice to the fullness of human selfhood, and, second, by developing a commensurate account of the human self that emphasizes, but does not reduce to physiological embodiment, and understands selves contextually, within both their somatic and social environments. In place of a static picture of health as statistical normality, it offers the dynamic ideal of living healthily, which incorporates and foregrounds individual's systems of lived meaningfulness. The dissertation concludes by surveying recent evidence-based research supporting the thesis.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Philosophy;
Medical Ethics
Classification
0422: Philosophy
0497: Medical Ethics
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Health and environmental sciences; American pragmatism; Bioethics; George Herbert Mead; Health theory; John Dewey; Philosophy of medicine
Title
A pragmatist recovery of health: Rethinking the limits of biomedicine
Author
Thomas, Seth Joshua
Number of pages
316
Publication year
2011
Degree date
2011
School code
0072
Source
DAI-A 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781124803425
Advisor
Green, Judith M.
Committee member
Davenport, John; Drummond, John; Hickman, Larry; Jones, Jude
University/institution
Fordham University
Department
Philosophy
University location
United States -- New York
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3466723
ProQuest document ID
885375809
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/885375809
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