The Body in Medical Thought and Practice
In the second half of the 20th century, the body has become a central theme of intellectual debate. How should we perceive the human body? Is it best understood biologically, experientially, culturally? How do social institutions exercise power over the body and determine norms of health and behavior? The answers arrived at by phenomenologists, social theorists, and feminists have radically challenged our cenventional notions of the body dating back to 17th century Cartesian thought.
This is the first volume to systematically explore the range of contemporary thought concerning the body and draw out its crucial implications for medicine. Its authors suggest that many of the problems often found in modern medicine -- dehumanized treatment, overspecialization, neglect of the mind's healing resources -- are directly traceable to medicine's outmoded concepts of the body. New and exciting alternatives are proposed by some of the foremost physicians and philosophers working in the medical humanities today.