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Without Philosophy, Medical Science is Lost

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By Larry Malerba, DO
(This is a guest essay by Dr. Larry Malerba, adapted from his new book Metaphysics & Medicine: Restoring Freedom of Thought to the Art and Science of Healingwith a Foreword by Don Salmon. For my own perspectives on the topics addressed below, see my earlier essay on the subject.)

For quite some time now, freedom of thought has been under siege within the medical profession. More often than not, the war against new ideas is justified in the name of science. When a discipline like science becomes so certain of itself that it believes it can manage without periodic reexamination of its basic principles, it starts to resemble a doctrine. The more doctrinaire it is, the less receptive to outside input it becomes, and the more it balks at challenges to its authority. In the final analysis, medical science justifies its assertions simply by virtue of the claim that it is science. As a consequence, medicine has become intolerant of freethinking and is fast falling be…