Embodiment, Pathology, and Diagnosis

  • José Alberto Mainetti
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 40)


Diagnosis is not knowledge for knowledge’s sake. It is knowledge for the sake of action. Medicine exists in order to cure, to care, to intervene, or, in limiting cases, to know when not to intervene. Medicine is not a contemplative science. Treatment carries with it presuppositions, views about when our bodies are whole and healthy and when our bodies require the intrusions of medicine. One cannot understand the wide range of medical actions without first analyzing how we view our embodiment as successful or unsuccessful, complete or incomplete, flawed or well accomplished. Medicine is not a science that attempts to see man sub specie aeternitatis; it regards man sub specie pathologicae. It is man as sick, man as pathological, who is the object of medical attention. Medicine carries with it a very special anthropology, a study of the logos of the human, not directly in terms of human ideals, but rather first and foremost in terms of human shortcomings. Despite the World Health Organization, health is generally understood in terms of disease, in terms of a wide range of shortcomings, limitations, and failings. The positive, the truly human is a negation of a negation, a negation of the shortcomings that are a negation of particular human goals.


Human Ideal Sick Animal Philosophical Anthropology Negative Theology Medical Appreciation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Alberto Mainetti
    • 1
  1. 1.La Plata National UniversityLa PlataArgentina

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