Greater Than the Parts: Holism in Biomedicine, 1920-1950

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Christopher Lawrence, George Weisz
Oxford University Press, 1998 - Medical - 366 pages
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The history of orthodox biomedicine in the twentieth century is usually depicted as one of icreasing reductionism and dependence on laboratory sciences and technology. Holism today is commonly regarded as an alternative to regular healing and a reaction to it. In fact, in the interwar years, clinicians and basic scientists in Europe and North America responded to what they perceived as the increasing reductionism, routinizing and mechanization of the biomedical sciences and clinical practice by creating holistic models of the body's activities and models of healing based the whole, individual sufferer. Holistic responses were also visible in public health and epidemiology. The essays collected here explore this previously neglected area. They show how the holistic turn in orthodox medicine in the interwar years was a reaction to the scietific reductionism and the specialization and division of labor and medicine. In addition, all show how this movement was part of a more general response to modernity itself, political, idealogical and cultural upheaval of the years between the wars.

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Contents

The Context
1
Holism and German Pathology 19141933
49
Medical Holism in France between
68
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About the author (1998)

Christopher Lawrence is at The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. George Weisz is at McGill University.

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