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Medical humanities and philosophy: Is the universe expanding or contracting?

  • William E. Stempsey
Scientific Contribution

Abstract

The question of whether the universe is expanding or contracting serves as a model for current questions facing the medical humanities. The medical humanities might aptly be described as a metamedical multiverse encompassing many separate universes of discourse, the most prominent of which is probably bioethics. Bioethics, however, is increasingly developing into a new interdisciplinary discipline, and threatens to engulf the other medical humanities, robbing them of their own distinctive contributions to metamedicine. The philosophy of medicine considered as a distinct field of study has suffered as a result. Indeed, consensus on whether the philosophy of medicine even constitutes a legitimate field of study is lacking. This paper presents an argument for the importance of a broad conception of the philosophy of medicine and the central role it should play in organizing and interpreting the various fields of study that make up the metamedical multiverse.

Keywords

academic disciplines bioethics medical humanities models philosophy of medicine 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCollege of the Holy CrossWorcesterUSA

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