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The Normal and the Pathological

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  152 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The Normal and the Pathological is one of the crucial contributions to the history of science in the last half century. It takes as its starting point the sudden appearance of biology as a science in the 19th-century and examines the conditions determining its particular makeup. Canguilhem analyzes the radically new way in which health and disease were defined in the early ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 28th 1991 by Zone Books (first published 1966)
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Philippe Malzieu
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Can a book change your life? I read it at the high school on the advices of my professor of philosophy. At this time, I hesitated between medicine and philosophy. The little red book.
Canguilhem, resistant to the Nazi, physician and philosopher. In short a model, a hero. He has given the aggregation of philosophy to Foucault. It was a completed time or France had great thinkers. Philosopher and physician, he made the synthesis in this work which takes again its thesis of 1943.
Canguilhem fights po
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, science
A very important book, profound, but occasionally difficult to get through. Canguilhem, for his renown as a philosopher, originally trained as a physician and wrote his thesis, which forms the first section of this volume, at the completion of his medical doctorate from the University of Strasbourg. Point being, there are long passages of medical detail that are impenetrable and uninteresting to someone coming at this from a philosophical or history of science angle.

What is most interesting is
David M
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wise, provocative book.

Some quotes:

"Health is organic innocence. It must be lost, like all innocence, so that knowledge may be possible."

"The laws of physics and chemistry do not vary according to health or disease. But to fail to admit from a biological point of view, life differentiates between its states means condemning oneself to be even unable to distinguish food from excrement. Certainly a living being's excrement can be food for another living being but not for him. What distinguishes
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I am totally obsessed with this book, I keep reading it over and over again.
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saggi, uni-book
Quando il sapere filosofico si unisce alla pratica medica... the magic happens!
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"Health is a set of securities and assurances...securities in the present, assurances for the future. As there is a psychological assurance which is not presumption, there is a biological assurance which is not excess, which is health. Health is a regulatory fly-wheel of the possibilities of reaction. Life is usually just this side of its possibilities, but when necessary is shows itself above its anticipated capacity...To be in good health means being able to fall sick and recover, it is a biol ...more
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