Document Detail


Hermeneutics of clinical practice: the question of textuality.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10967952     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
In this article I scrutinize the question whether clinical medicine, in order to be considered a hermeneutical enterprise, must be thought of as a reading of different "texts." Three different proposals for a definition of the concept of text in medicine, suggested by other hermeneuticians, are discussed. All three proposals are shown to be unsatisfying in various ways. Instead of attempting to find a fourth definition of the concept of text suitable to a hermeneutics of medicine, I then try to show that the assumption that one needs to operate with the concept of text in order to develop a hermeneutics of medicine is false. Clinical interpretation can be shown to essentially consist in a dialogical hermeneutics, the pattern of which can be found in the philosophy of Hans-Georg Gadamer. This kind of hermeneutics is not a methodology of text reading, but an ontological, phenomenological hermeneutics in which understanding is a necessary feature of the being-together of human beings in the world. This being-together in and through language takes on a peculiar form in the clinical encounter, since the medical meeting is typically characterized by an asymmetrical enstrangement and has a specific goal--health for the patient--absent in other forms of hermeneutics. Central issues of Gadamer's philosophy, e.g. "fusion of horizons," are shown to fit the structure of clinical practice.
Authors:
F Svenaeus
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Theoretical medicine and bioethics     Volume:  21     ISSN:  1386-7415     ISO Abbreviation:  Theor Med Bioeth     Publication Date:  2000  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-09-21     Completed Date:  2000-09-21     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9805378     Medline TA:  Theor Med Bioeth     Country:  NETHERLANDS    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  171-89     Citation Subset:  E; IM    
Affiliation:
Department of Health and Society, University of Linköping, Sweden. fresv@tema.liu.se
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Humans
Philosophy, Medical*
Physician-Patient Relations

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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