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Intuition in Medicine: A Philosophical Defense of Clinical Reasoning 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226071664
ISBN-10: 0226071669
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Editorial Reviews


“[A] sweeping but richly crafted historical journey. . . . Intuition in Medicine is a stimulating, concise and reasonably priced text that is likely to appeal to a wide range of academic readers for its ability to challenge and advance medical and moral thinking about clinical reasoning, the place of intuition in medicine and what it means to be human.”
(Stephen Buetow Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice)

 “This book is monumental in the depth and breadth of its scholarship.”
(Elaine W. Cotlove Journal of the American Medical Association)

Intuition in Medicine is insightful in warning of the subversion of clinical reasoning by the blind application of statistics, oblivious both to the role of intuition in clinical practice and the human character of the doctor-patient encounter. Braude broadly succeeds in relating Aristotelian epistemology to the practice of medicine and thereby overcoming the dehumanization and Cartesian dualism that threatens the practice of medicine.”
(John Safranek Review of Metaphysics)

"The scope of Braude's work is impressive, as it touches on classic philosophical texts--including a thorough treatment of Aristotle--as much as work better known by medical ethicists. . . . Throughout, Braude's clarity and scrutiny shine through his treatment of the material,  while he suggests new ways forward through phenomenology as a deeper consideration of both the doctor and patient as subjects. Intuition in Medicine keeps the doors of the medical humanities open to both physicians and philosophers by elucidating a foundational issue about which both groups can--and must--learn from one another."
(Mikey McGovern New Books in Medicine)

“Braude must be congratulated for offering a grand synthesis that his topic deserves. . . . An intellectually enriched account of what truly threatens humane medicine and what is required for authentic reasoned clinical care.”
(Alfred I. Tauber, Boston University Medcal History)

“Hillel Braude’s book is brilliant. There’s nothing like it—this is a true, deep, scholarly, philosophical, historical work with real staying power.”
(Kathryn Montgomery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)

“Drawing on philosophy, science, ethics, and a wealth of personal experience as a physician and philosopher, Hillel D. Braude offers keen insight into the essence of medicine as an intellectual and moral endeavor. Braude explores the nature of medical knowledge and its application in both the objective and subjective aspects of reasoning, decision making, and patient interaction that define the act of medicine and its realization in the clinical encounter. This important new book carries on in the spirit and tenor of Pellegrino and Thomasma, and I believe rightfully takes its place with such seminal studies as an invaluable work on the skill and art of practical wisdom in medicine."
(James Giordano, Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, University of Oxford)

“Hillel D. Braude’s Intuition in Medicine: A Philosophical Defense of Clinical Reasoning is the first serious attempt to understand medical intuition as an intrinsic part of both the scientific process and the world of therapy. Sophisticated but not esoteric, Braude’s study is able to provide a reasoned and balanced account of the intuitive process, freeing intuition from the world of medical magic thinking and placing it at the center of medicine. A major contribution to medical humanities.”
(Sander L. Gilman, Emory University)

“Hillel D. Braude’s book is a remarkable achievement that should be carefully studied by all those who seek to understand the nature of clinical reasoning. He provides an important analysis of the major figures in the still ongoing disputes between evidence-based medical models and those that insist on the place of intuition and tacit knowledge. Moreover, he is eminently fair to all the parties to these disputes, and in the process uncovers central historical themes that have long fueled them—from his important and balanced analysis of Aristotle’s phronesis through Galton’s discovery of correlation and Polanyi’s study of tacit knowledge, along with those still currently involved in these issues. A splendid accomplishment that is both deeply informed of these discussions and highly intelligent and fair in its assessments and conclusions.”
(Richard M. Zaner, Vanderbilt University Medical Center)

About the Author

Hillel D. Braude completed his medical education and training at the University of Cape Town Medical School and his PhD at the University of Chicago. Since completing further studies as a postgraduate fellow and research assistant in McGill University’s Biomedical Ethics Unit and Religious Studies Faculty, his main area of research is neuroethics.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226071669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226071664
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,540,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is a creative and productive contribution to the philosophy of clinical judgment and medical decision making. Philosophers of medicine or statistics, medical ethicists, Aristotle scholars, and clinicians with a strong interest in clinical reasoning will all find this book a worthwhile investment.

Braude's main goal is to defend the role of intuition (properly understood) in modern clinical judgment. To make this argument, he charts how conceptions of intuition have changed in philosophical and clinical reasoning from Hippocrates to modern times. Braude begins by reviewing the conflicting definitions of intuition in philosophy. He argues that intuition is properly understood as a kind of pre-reflective practical wisdom rooted in the physical body. He analyzes Hippocrates and especially Aristotle to defend this understanding of intuition over and against the belief that intuition refers to absolute intellectual certainty or mystical revelation.

Braude then builds on this foundation to show how the concept of intuition changed with the development of modern medicine and statistics. He gives a fascinating account of how Francis Galton's obsession with eugenics led him to discover statistical correlation and regression. Braude argues that clinical reasoning came eventually to be seen as grounded in mathematical abstractions rather than (as Aristotle had argued) in practical knowledge and the body. Modern pathology reinforced the disruption between clinical reasoning and human experience by focusing on the correlation between (dead) tissue and disease.

Finally, Braude reviews modern developments in clinical reasoning, especially evidence-based medicine.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Style: it is at times a bit dry and academic - so it is not that the type of reading if you are looking for something aimed at the lay reader. It seems to be more aimed at someone who is in academic medicine or in one of the allied fields.

It is trying to make the point that clinical medicine unlike pure scientific experiments have concerns which can't be easily settled by the type of controlled experiments that basic scientist love - there are simply too many factors which are uncontrollable. So what to do? This is where accumulated prior experience can help.
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