Existence and Health

  • Patrick M. WhiteheadEmail author


This chapter introduces the concepts of health and well-being. These concepts can only be understood existentially, and they are absurd when defined objectively. This chapter draws on the work of American physician and philosopher of medicine, Drew Leder, who explains that when healthy, the lived body is absent from experience. There is no concrete experience of health. Health is merely the ability to become absorbed in one’s routine. This is called “well-being” by German hermeneutic philosopher Hans Georg Gadamer. Like Leder, Gadamer argues that health is not any special category, but the ability to carry on with one’s routines without being hindered.


Gadamer Leder Existentialism Illness Health Well-being 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology and PsychologyAlbany State UniversityAlbanyUSA

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