Without philosophical thinking of the human body, medicine and related sciences are ineffective and inefficient, neither scientifically nor economically.
"It is easy to hate, and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve, while bad things are straightforward."
Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, politician, and philosopher. By Simran Khurana (Updated March 18, 2017)
Introduction & Prolog.
Is there a unified philosophy of medical science today? The answer is “No.” The finding that modern conventional medicine has no independent philosophy was shocking to me!
- Medical science has many methodologies, therapeutic protocols, extensive literature, innovative technologies, procedures, principles, and guidelines, but this is not philosophy! In my eyes, the lack of philosophy explains modern medicine's (hidden) failures.
- Paradoxically, traditional Chinese and Indian medicine thousands of years ago, with no knowledge of anatomy, physiology, or chemistry, developed medical philosophy, parts of which are still helpful today. They are not up-to-date and do not qualify as stand-alone medicine in the 21st century. But at the level of philosophical thinking and balance between body, mind & spirit, they were very advanced for their time.
Is the philosophy of medicine a sub-branch of philosophy (as the situation is today) or a sub-branch of medicine?
- Seemingly this is a semantic question, but the determination has great significance. It dictates to those involved in the field. Search the rest of the sciences. Indeed, several surprising discoveries in areas related to philosophy, such as the theory of mathematical incompleteness, developed by Kurt Size and whether we live in a simulation by Nick Bostrom, were created by philosophers, but with mathematical tools! In most cases, those who practice philosophy do not have enough knowledge in the sciences to engage in the philosophy of medicine.
Sun Tzu is traditionally considered the author of The Art of War. How is it related to the philosophy of medicine?
The body and mind are in a constant war, against many invaders and enemies - but without philosophy and strategy!
- “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, you will also suffer a defeat for every victory gained. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” (Sun Tzu)
The SWOT analysis points to a mirror image between Modern Medicine and Self-Healing (Alternative-functional) Medicine's weaknesses and strengths.
Thus the integration between both is requested.
Is there a need for a unified philosophy of medical science? The answer is definitely "YES." The medical field in the 21 century is a war zone dictated by modern lifestyle. Would the human race allow itself to enter a tough war without a strategy? I guess not!
- The confusion between symptoms, causes, and catalysts, which leads to fighting the symptoms, is, in my opinion, part of this trend, " medical philosophy is a field for philosophers." (Symptomatic treatments cannot cure the patient, as they do not eliminate the causes of the disease.)
Advanced biochemistry and other technological instruments do not necessarily reveal all the secrets of the body, mind & spirit. To know the correct answers, we must understand what we are searching for; in other words, it is - PHILOSOPHY.
All exact sciences have a philosophy, usually supported by mathematical formulas.
Medicine combines life sciences and exact sciences, so, surprisingly, it does not have an independent philosophy.
- If you search (Kurt Gudel or Alan Turing), you will find that even mathematics and computer science have a philosophy. Physics and chemistry have well-founded theories and profound philosophical questions, often unanswered.
- Paradoxically, Chinese and Indian medicine, with no knowledge of anatomy, physiology, or chemistry, developed medical philosophy thousands of years ago, parts of which are still helpful today. They are not up-to-date and do not qualify as stand-alone medicine in the 21st century. But at the level of philosophical thinking and balance between body, mind & soul, they were very advanced for their time.
Medicine is integrated into many fields, so the philosophical questions it raises are many and more profound.
Some examples of topics that the philosophy of medicine may deal with.
The examples I have given may seem banal, but they are critical to understanding future medicine. (Many other diverse philosophical issues can be raised)
Is it possible to translate all human activity into mathematical formulas, including emotions and thought? (Far-reaching implications)
The connection between Body, Mind & Spirit.
- Is the body just a physical entity, or also a physical-energetic combination? There is a duality between matter and energy in the science of physics. Is it also valid for medical science?
- What is the connection between body, mind, and spirit, how does it work, and how is it manifested?
- What is the explanation of the placebo effect?
Does the body occasionally act randomly? (Immense implications)
- Is it possible to describe all the body's physiology using mathematical models?
- Does Nash equilibrium exist in the human body?
Invasive medicine philosophy.
Can one expect a unified and uniform explanation of all identities and sexual orientations?
What will the medicine of the future look like? Is it a combination of drugs and advanced invasive procedures?
Why is it critical to distinguish between the symptoms, causes of the disease, the catalysts, and the illness triggers?
- Can a symptomatic treatment be effective, and under what conditions to treat chronic diseases?
- What is the definition of physical pain? Is it only related to endurance or involves other objective metrics?
Is there a common denominator for all types of addictions?
- Are addictions just a biochemical phenomenon, or does it also have other hidden dimensions?
What is inflammation?
- Why chronic morbidity often outbreaks around the '50s
- Does sweating have more underlying functions beyond body cooling?
- Infection vs. Inflammation. Is there a difference?
- What are the four types of fatigue?
Summary & Conclusions.
Is there a unified philosophy of modern medical science today? Surprisingly, the answer is "No."
- Medicine has extensive professional literature, documentation of history, many methods, treatment protocols, and advanced technologies, but these are not a philosophy, but at best, just a tactic.
- Is there a need for a unified philosophy of medical science? The answer is definitely "yes."
- The medical field in the 21 century is a war zone dictated by modern lifestyle. Would the human race allow itself to enter a difficult war without a strategy? I guess not!
We need a unified philosophy of medicine as a sub-branch of medicine and not of philosophy.
Contrary to popular belief, investing in scientific research that pertains to the philosophy of the human body and medicine will yield a scientific, social, and economic return far beyond expectations.
The philosophy of medicine must be a sub-branch of medicine and not of philosophy as today. The philosophy of medicine must integrate conventional medicine with medicine for self-healing.