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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 11(1); 2002 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 2002;11(1): 1-19.
의학의 두 문화: 환원인가 구성인가?
Two Cultures in Medicine: Reduction or Construction?
Shin Ik Kang
Department of Medical History and the Humanities, School of Medicine, Inje University, Korea.
Medicine is not only a science but also belongs to the humanities. Being a science means that it has the objective and universally applicable methodology. Science, because of its stringent methodologies (determinism, reductionism and mechanism), cannot grasp the fruitful context of human life. Although the humanities can give us flexible wisdom of life, nobody can insist on its objective and universal applicability. We have two different cultures in medicine - those of science and the humanities. If you examine the ways how people choose health services, however, you can find that they do not have any conflict between the two cultures. They simply do not care whether the service they are going to buy is orthodox or alternative if they have high expectations of it. The two cultures already have been resolved in their lives. I suggest that we should learn from ordinary people and not from logics of science and philosophy to resolve the conflict between the two cultures. We can probably begin with the fact that the ultimate goal of medicine is to serve the people and not to find abstract truth in the material body.
Key Words: Two Cultures, Reductionism, Determinism, Social Constructionism
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