Norma e azione by Georg Henrik von Wright

By Georg Henrik von Wright

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Second, doctors were also encouraged to examine their own subjectivity. Rather than seeing themselves as superior and distant from their patients, they too, if reflective, would be able to identify their own needs and feelings more clearly. This would not only help in exploring sources of dissatisfaction and frustration, but also in gaining a greater insight into the healing process. By recognizing that illness and the doctorpatient relationship involved a series of ‘offers and responses’ between the parties, rather than the uncovering of an objective reality by the doctor acting as a scientific expert, a more complete view of illness could be produced.

Davison, C. Richards (eds) The Troubled Helix: Social and Psychological Implications of the New Genetics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. , Davey Smith, G. and Frankel, S. (1991) ‘Lay epidemiology and the prevention paradox: the implications of coronary candidacy for health promotion’, Sociology of Health and Illness 13(1): 1–19. , Frankel, S. and Davey Smith, G. (1992) ‘The limits of popular lifestyle: re-assessing “fatalism” in the popular culture of illness prevention’, Social Science & Medicine 34(6): 675–85.

In this way, postmodernism challenges the facticity of the human body as constituted in biology or in modern social theory. In place of the biological ‘organism’ or Body-with-Organs, we have a body which may be inscribed by such discourse, a philosophical surface which Deleuze and Guattari (to emphasize its non-biological status) call the ‘Body-without-Organs (henceforth BwO). Foucault’s various genealogies of power, knowledge and the disciplining of the body (1976, 1979, 1984, 1986) describe the inscription of this body by discourse, including those on health and illness.

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