On Tuesday afternoon the conference heard three presentations which, from quite distinct points of view, evoked some of the complex aspects of interaction between a society as a whole and the various individuals who together make it up. In a session entitled ‘Biology, medicine and the future of mankind’ one was reminded that both biological theory and medical practice have to a significant extent been marked by a peculiar fixation on the individual organism. Such fixations, however, may be said to have been outdated by developments in both fields; and — almost the same way as in physics — considerations of a more general (and in this case usually social) character must be invoked in order to properly understand and deal with phenomena which surpass the bounds of that which was formerly taken as ‘typical’ or ‘normal’. At the same time, however, it is also clear that this fixation on ‘the individual’ (often connected with the name of Virchow) has by no means prevented constant depersonalisation of the doctor-patient relationship; neither has it prevented the utilisation of biological knowledge for purposes of increasing the uniformisation not only of animal and plant cultures, but also of human behaviour. After reading through the papers in this session, one might perhaps say that what they are calling for, then, is a heightened respect for individuality that is rooted both in enhanced forms of socialisation at several distinct levels and in an awareness of what are often social determinants of biological phenomena.
Weitere Kapitel dieses Buchs durch Wischen aufrufen
- Biology, Medicine and the Future of Mankind
- Macmillan Education UK
in-adhesives, MKVS, Nordson/© Nordson, ViscoTec/© ViscoTec, Hellmich GmbH/© Hellmich GmbH