Clinical Practice in the Techno-Science Age: Living in Crisis

Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy of Science and Technology, Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran


Both doctors and patients are confronted with phenomena that, despite repeated attempts, have not met the expectations of medicine, and are gradually becoming anomalies, which, if enlarged, can be spoken of as a medical crisis. Some of these anomalies are the increased popularity of complementary and alternative medicine, medicalization, medical errors, and commercialization of health, technological development, the placebo effect, care of chronic illness, inadequate medical interventions in mental illnesses, increasing ethical issues, and finally, engagement in philosophical discussions in the medical community. The crisis of modern medicine is highly connected to more fundamental questions about the essence of medicine and its goals. The main thesis of this essay is that reflection on the relationship between practice, theory, and technology is essential to the determination of ‎how the manipulation of science and technology leads to a crisis in clinical medicine. The crisis of modern medicine is due to both the scientification and technification of medicine. ‎In this essay, scientification refers to a project that has attempted to extremely scientifize medical ‎practice. In this sense, clinical practice is merely an application of scientific laws and theories in ‎order to diagnose and treat disease. ‎Medicine is basically a practice; it is neither science nor technology. This essay is divided into two parts; part 1 is on the etiology of this crisis and part 2 on the fundamental role of philosophical reflection in the crisis of medicine. Finally, I defend the idea that philosophical reflection in medicine helps physicians to understand the medical crisis, and constraints of medicine to the extent possible and the ways to resolve them. Therefore, every theory and concept in the philosophy of science and medicine that helps the understanding of the crisis of medicine should be taken into consideration.


  • Clinical practice
  • Technology
  • Crisis

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