Projects per year
Phenomenology informs a number of contemporary attempts to give more weight to the lived experience of patients and overcome the limitations of a one-sidedly biomedical understanding of illness. Susan Bredlau has recently presented a reading of Plato’s dialogue Charmides, which portrays Socrates as a pioneer of the phenomenological approach to illness. I use a critical discussion of Bredlau’s interpretation of the Charmides to show that the phenomenology of illness also has its shortcomings and needs to be complemented by still other approaches. While Bredlau does make a number of highly apt and relevant suggestions as to how a narrow biomedical approach to illness may be corrected, some (but not all) of which are related to phenomenology, the attribution to Plato’s Socrates of a phenomenological approach is mistaken. Characteristically, Socrates shows little interest in the personal experience of a patient. He is more concerned with the patient’s lifestyle and conduct and so suggests an alternative or complementary perspective, stressing the importance of education and prevention to health care.
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28/09/2019 → 31/12/2021