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DOI: 10.18413/2408-932X-2024-10-1-0-2

Understanding the Category of Disease/Illness in the Context of Biomedical and Humanistic Models of Medicine: Philosophical Aspects

In the modern medical philosophy there are two basic models in the light of which the reflections on the essence of health and disease/illness are developed – biomedical and humanistic – differentiated as, respectively, an objective (and objectifying) point of view from the third-person perspective and a subjective point of view from the first-person perspective; a professional point of view and a patient’s one; curing a disease and healing one’s suffering; scientism and humanism; science and art (skill); the logos of technique and the ethos of care. The purpose of the article is a philosophical reflection of the category of disease/illness in the context of biomedical and humanistic models of medicine. The impoverishment of modern medicine as a result of reliance on biomedical paradigm, rooted in the natural sciences, and the need for its rehumanization through the introduction of a humanistic paradigm, rooted in the humanities, are problematized. We reveal that the limitations of both models (biomedical model – within the framework of a naturalist approach, and humanistic model – within the framework of the phenomenology of medicine and narrative medicine) lie in understanding and conceptualizing of disease/illness. While having established that both models have more things in common than contradictions, we conclude that for the purposes of the development and enrichment of modern medicine it will be more effective to approach both models from the perspective of their mutual complementarity rather than through the prism of their antagonism (when their differences are exaggerated and opposed). In conclusion, as a recommendation for future researches in this area, we propose considering the experience of disease/illness from the point of view of the second-person perspective, which is neglected by both models of medicine.

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