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Epistemological considerations for the study of the medicalization process: an immersion in Canguilhem's philosophy

Grant number: 13/18862-9
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2013
Effective date (End): February 28, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Social Psychology
Principal researcher:Hélio Rebello Cardoso Júnior
Grantee:Murilo Galvão Amancio Cruz
Supervisor abroad: Céline Lefève
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Letras (FCL-ASSIS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Assis. Assis , SP, Brazil
Research place: Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7, France  
Associated to the scholarship:12/16151-5 - The medicalization of the Education: an epistemological study about the psychiatrization process in the society of discipline and control, BP.IC

Abstract

According to our scientific initiation research (Process 2012/16151-5) we verified the influence and the medical power over the social aspects of human life. A big part of medicine and mainly of psychiatry treats to human as a machine that has a brain, which is a machine too, where deficits and imbalances will be situated. Canguilhem claims this to be 'the big historical mistake' of the psychological and psychiatric science. At this stage of research, we intend to explore more profoundly the philosophy of Georges Canguilhem, especially from his critiques of psychology science; discussing his concepts about normal and pathological; and his notion of life and knowledge, that includes his concepts about subjective body and subjective medicine. Indeed, we believe that Canguilhem's philosophy is the basis for any critical discussion about the medical or psychological practice, especially when he argues issues related to the normal and pathological; the knowledge and life; the brain and thinking; the thinking and the living. For the author, life is a creative potency of norms of life and can't be separated from his experience. After all, it is from our experience of living that we are what we are. Thus, Canguilhem indicates a limit in the knowledge and asserts that life can only be recognized from their originality. This assumption has repercussions on the way the author treats normality and the pathology. According to Canguilhem, the normal man is, in short, who has the ability to create norms, namely, the man normative, whereas the pathological would be the incapacity of this creation. Thus he avoids the patterns defined by the most hegemonic sciences such as a part of medicine and psychology who affirm the normal from a statistical average and the pathological from physical and chemistry changes. According to this theoretical basis, we hope to guide our research abroad in order to discuss this phenomenon of medicalization and pathologization of life, creating links between Canguilhem's philosophy and the medicalization process. (AU)

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