George Kangwielhem or Philosophy of Medicine Against Stupidity in a Time of Pandemic

George Kangwielhem or Philosophy of Medicine Against Stupidity in a Time of Pandemic

An unprecedented health and political crisis has rocked the world in recent months. He has stunned our society, crippled his intelligence, suckled by the authorities, and neglected to ask the right philosophical questions. A philosophical imperfection was marked by speeches, debates, and conversations throughout this period. Descartes wrote in 1644: “We must think that she is alone [la philosophie] which distinguishes us from the most savage of barbarians, and that every nation is the most civilized and polite, and the best philosophizing there; Thus, the best benefit that can be in a country is to have true philosophers.” Barbarism and savagery are not elsewhere in society, or in the state, but degrees, and especially moments in which society can relapse.

The impotence of philosophy – or, to speak with Descartes, “ real Philosophy, the antithesis of gossip which, on television and radio, constantly numbs the critical mind of our contemporaries – testifies to a relapse into barbarism and barbarism. This is how Descartes had described the intellectual and psychological state of France as it struggled with an unexpected epidemic – France deprived of philosophy. He made us speak with fear, ready to succumb to the first antichrist and sophist of the last dew, our society, our rulers, each of us, behaved as if the meaning of such concepts as health, disease, natural, pathological, went without saying. The The writings of medicine and philosophy The last volume published by Vrin from complete works By George Kangwillhem, it sheds a unique light on our present.

Health, disease and rule

This philosopher, despite his importance not known to the general public, was born in Castelnaudary – of his kind: chaurien – in 1904. He became successively (the chronological order of certification is important for understanding his work), Philosophy, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy. Doctor and philosopher, he was distinguished as a great figure of resistance. He co-founded, with Jean Cavallis, Emmanuel Daster de la Figuere and Lucy Aubrac, the Liberation-Sud Network. in his book, Philosopher of Resistance (2001), notes Pierre Fougeyrollas, a dazzling student of the Master Chaurien at the Fermat École Normale Supérieure in Toulouse in 1940: “By introvertedness, Kangwill remind me of those Cathar priests who were in stark contrast to de Artanian, Fracas and Cyrano because his rigorous obsession over the centuries joined with the Cathar’s demand for absolute purity.”

All of his works take on the role of a broad and powerful reflection on health, disease, and norm. What is medicine? What is health? what is that disease? What is normal? What is sick? What is philosophy? What is life? He answers these questions roughly Cathar rigorously.

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What is medicine? The entire period of Covid-19 mixed between medicine and science, without even the slightest beginning to contemplate the meaning and place of science, a name that has remained obscure and its powers used like a magical password intended to silence any questioning. Stupid scientism falls on TV screens and spoils the government’s discourse. Medicine is far from being a science, it is an “art of life”. Through it, the organism, that is, the human being, prolongs the spontaneous effort of life, a negative value associated with some conditions that are considered pathological. But there is no fundamental difference between normal and pathological. More precisely: medicine is “A technology or art at the crossroads of several sciences, not a real science”. Nothing is less harmful than choosing the word “art” in the old sense of “technique”: it leaves room for intuition, inseparable from the life of the doctor. Medicine is a crossroads where science is embodied in technology and art, joining the global stream of life.

The disease is “kind of normal”.

what is that disease? Our philosopher’s analysis would seem counter-intuitive, contrary to the naive opinions of all. It does not define disease as the opposite of normal. It is another form of normal life. A contemplative relationship between Georges Kangwillhem and Émile Durkheim, the father of French sociology, imposes itself on the intelligence of the reader. For Durkheim, Crime is a natural phenomenon.. “It is necessary” Being “They are connected with the basic conditions of all social life, but, with this very fact, they are useful, because these conditions on which one another depends are themselves indispensable to the natural development of morality and law.”

Illness in Kangwielhm is the same as crime in Durkheim. Disease in relation to the biological body and the crime of the social body. the disease, “kind of normal” Not an anomaly nor an anomaly, but A new dimension to life. and George Kangwillhem to identify—and his reader notes, the broad lexical similarity to Durkheim: “The sick living person is normalized under certain conditions of existence and loses the normative ability, the ability to establish other standards in other conditions”. Normative is the ability to create standards. In the end, continuing a normal life, disease will be a limitation of our normative power. Spinoza, in whom vital sad sentiments weaken, and Nietzsche, who was concerned with changes in power, are not too far from the pathological approach of the Carurian philosopher.

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Inventing a new country

Disease is not the opposite of health. Anyone who imagines recovery as a return to a previous state, wrongly called “normal,” is misguided. It is an invention, by the organism, of a new state. Inventing new standards. In contrast to this approach to dealing with disease, health can be defined: “What characterizes health is the possibility to override the norm that defines the momentary normal, the possibility to tolerate violation of the usual norm and to set new standards in new situations.” Life is essentially normative, health is normative creativity bounded by disease. still life “Not being subject to the environment but an enterprise to its own environment.” Disease limits this institution and reduces it to the point of destroying it.

This concept of life as an institutional invention of norms refers to the psycho-political thought of Cornelius Castoriadis. The institutional imagination was the great concept of Castoriadis. What Kangwielham calls in his Neovitalism life “Castoriades calls it” Establishing the imagination This imagination conceived by Castoriadis is nothing more than an expression, in the polity, of what Canguilhem defines, the emergent basis of life, and its creativity. It is merely an extension of life. The institutionalization of forms and norms has its implications in the political sphere, while in Canguilhem it expresses its strength in the biological sphere.This structural similarity between Canguilhem’s thought and that of Castoriadis suggests the identity of politics and life Politics by its norm is similar to medicine: it is an extension of biological and social life.

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Philosophizing is hurting stupidity, it is customary to say. And stupidity has seldom prevailed so easily, unopposed – over rulers, peoples and their elites – than during the Covid-19 epidemic! By allowing us to reflect on disease and medicine, and to fill in the imperfections in philosophy that refer to a relapse into barbarism, Kangwielhm’s work is an urgent read, for each of us, for those who guide us (spiritual force, media) and for those who govern us (temporal force). Thus everyone will be vaccinated against a new wave of stupid virus in the next health alert…

« Books of Medicine and Philosophy »George KangelhmVrin, 870 pages, 39 €.

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