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Home > Axes of research > History and Philosophy of Medecine 2018-2022 > 1 History and philosophy of care: cultures, practices and criticisms

Axis History and philosophy of medicine

1 History and philosophy of care: cultures, practices and criticisms

Thematics of research / Members / 2018–2022

This theme is based on the idea that the discourses, knowledge and practices of medicine are seized subjects according to moral values and social issues historically constructed, culturally located and often implicit. To define the normal and the pathological, to treat, to medicalise, to take care of are logical and complex ends. The theme focuses on the epistemological, ethical and political issues at work in the logic, work, organizations and relationships of care. It addresses the question of care in its historical transformations and in its actuality, it integrates the works in social sciences and analyzes the contributions and limits of the notion of "care" in health.

Koen Vermeir will explore the relationship between imagination and care. He will study the psychosomatic powers of the imagination, as described and discussed from the 12th to the 18th centuries. Historians have long argued that the pre-romantic imagination was a weak and dangerous faculty, leading to illusion and sin. At the same time, Western history is full of stories about the power of the imagination, its ability to make sick or heal, creator of prophecies or monsters. His research will focus on medical and philosophical contexts, with specific attention to the doctor / patient relationship based on trust and belief, but also on the imagination of both actors. His research will not be limited to the study of theories, it will include therapeutic practices, techniques of control of the imagination and clinical cases. Beyond research in history, this project sheds light on current medical practices related to the imagination, as well as placebo and nocebo effects. He also wants to shed light on current discourses on "modernity" or "subjectivity", and thus contribute to the field of medical humanities. He therefore proposes a long-term cultural history of the links between mind, body and imagination.

Céline Lefève will bring his "HDR" on the issues of training in the ethics of care in medical studies, at the confluence of his research on medical care (on the needs of patients particularly chronic, on the specificity of medical care and on ethical issues emerging from care relationships), pedagogical innovations that it has brought to the teaching of philosophy and ethics in medical education (notably by using cinema as well as new collaborative technologies) and its research on the epistemology and pedagogy of medical humanities. She will also continue her research on the psycho-social experience of pre- and post-transplant patients. She will finally continue her research, with a doctoral student, Roger Thay, on the logic, values and exclusion effects of sorting practices, especially in palliative medicine.

Claude-Olivier Doron will pursue critical studies on the concept of "care" and the issue of psychiatric care.

Florence Bretelle-Establet will focus on the therapeutic cultures promoted in China at the end of the empire (XVII-XX centuries) based on the body of medical texts that survive from the most southern regions. His study will take into account not only the general, abstract and theoretical statements about treatment, but also the more prescriptive statements that advocate, for general and disembodied syndromes, therapeutic treatments, and finally, the clinical case narratives that expose the unfolding of a precise treatment against a disease this time embodied in a defined patient. The systematic study of these discourses will make it possible to highlight in which treatment cultures the therapists of these southern provinces are enrolled, what role medical theory, empirical observation and experience play in particular.

Members / Thematics /

Researchers – Phds students – Post-Docs
DORON Claude-Olivier