Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 16 (1-4):206 – 213 (1973)
AbstractModern socio?cultural studies of medicine demonstrate the symbolic character of much of medical reality. This symbolic reality can be appreciated as mediating the traditional division of medicine into biophysical and human sciences. Comparative studies of medical systems offer a general model for medicine as a human science. These studies document that medicine, from an historical and cross?cultural perspective, is constituted as a cultural system in which symbolic meanings take an active part in disease formation, the classification and cognitive management of illness, and in therapy. Medicine's symbolic reality also forms a bridge between cultural and psychophysiological phenomena; the basis for psychosomatic and socioso?matic pathology and therapy. This in turn becomes a central problem for medical theory and for a philosophical reinvestigation of medicine
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