What is specific to western medicine is a Cartesian view of health, in which mind and body occupy different realms of meaning. By contrast, a non-Cartesian view of health is the defining feature of ‘complementary and alternative medicine’, in which mind and body inhabit the same domain of enquiry.
In treating disease as physical pathology, western medicine objectifies the human body. In so doing it acknowledges and reflects a distinction between biological apparatus and moral authority, as vested in a person's subjective state, which is, by turns, the locus of personal responsibility.
This division of labour does not stand alone, and is ultimately legitimated at the level of society as a whole, where the aspiration to transcend ...
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