(2002) 'The Myth of Medical Pluralism: A Critical Realist
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Received: 9/8/2001 Accepted: 27/2/2002 Published:
... the [medical] plurality is related to the freedom of choice that serves to place the patient in control of his environment, to give him options to strike what seems the best course for himself.
cannot themselves be understood through experience, because neither the underlying structures nor the connection between these structures and the empirical world are themselves experienced. The connection can only be reconstructed in knowledge. But these connections are vital for the realist theory of knowledge.
the constellation of beliefs, knowledge, practices, personnel, and facilities and resources that together structure and pattern the way members of a sociocultural group obtain care and treatment of illness (Fabrega and Manning, 1979, p. 41).
To transform the world, that is, to transform the mode of production, through the process of class struggle is to change, among other moments, the mode of organization of production and the process of work. Otherwise, all process of change can be in vain, because it is the mode of organization of production and of the process of work where we find the roots of the division of social classes, the class struggle, and where capitalism is reproduced and reborn.
those relationships which are established between the owners of the means of production and the direct producers in a definite process of production, relationships which depend on the type of ownership, relation, possession, dispossession or usufruct which they establish with the means or production (Harnecker, 1977, cited in Navarro, 1982b, p. 82).
An ontological approach, in China as in Europe, tends to neglect the individual patient because it focuses on a fight against the disease or against the pathogenic agent, rather than on restoring a function or a system of functions. The Chinese ontological approach to illness has, therefore, conceptualized 'diseases', has sought for their very specific causes, and has developed standard treatment procedures regardless of the individual patient. The fact that bacteriology was quickly adopted in China and found a large number of adherents may, aside from its tangible effects, also result from the fact that all the conceptual pre-conditions for the introduction of bacteriological concepts were present in China for two millennia already (Unschuld, 1987, p. 1026).
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