Whether a human being considers him- or herself as healthy or unhealthy or is perceived as healthy or unhealthy by others is by no means based on objective facts but rather depends to a great extent on cultural, social, historical and epistemological factors. Medical acting as the handling of health and diseases is conducted in a surrounding shaped by technical skills, scientific knowledge, social conceptions of the world and images of humanity, moral attitudes and socio-historical situations. Medicine only exists in the plural of temporally and regionally diverse medical systems. The manner of how human beings are reflected upon, the way of how knowledge about them is gathered and applied for the benefit of both each individual and mankind as a whole is the leitmotif of this course.
The lecture History and Philosophy of Medicine provides an introduction to the history of these medical systems and demonstrates its philosophical foundations. Based on crucial milestones of this history, the genesis of the occidental rational type of medicine is presented.
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