Medicine's bad philosophy threatens your health

Medicine has a mind-body problem

In recent years medicine has increasingly recognized a connection between mind and body and how the interaction between the two can affect our health. But in its effort to avoid a problematic separation between mind and body, medicine has been led astray. Due to misunderstanding what in philosophy is called mind-body dualism, trained medical doctors end up over-diagnosing conditions as psychosomatic, automatically construing medically unexplained symptoms as psychiatric problems. This is a philosophical error that ends up putting the health of patients at risk, argues Diane O’Leary.


Medicine and philosophy have an uneasy relationship.  Medicine is a practical endeavor, aiming for concrete results.  Philosophy, on the other hand, has been construed as a head-in-the-clouds kind of thing since antiquity.  Today, outside of medical ethics (which has taken a rightful place within the profession), it’s hard to see how philosophy’s abstra

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