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Untold and Inexpressible: Gaps and Ambiguities in the Medicine as an Epistemological Challenge (39th


Medical treatments aim to improve the patient’s health. From the patient’s perspective, the elimination of the suffering and the restitution of “normal” life is a crucial part of the process. Patients express this in communication with the practitioner by describing symptoms on one side and impairments affecting their lives on the other. Much of this can hardly be described in words, especially embodied experiences which do not correlate with medical findings and thus are often not deemed relevant. In this regard, the patient faces the rigid and rational diagnostical categories of the practitioner that sometimes do not at all coincide with the patient’s own categories. However, how the gap between the concepts used by the practitioner and the patient could be bridged does rarely come up for discussion.Not surprisingly, this problem is also highly relevant in the study of historical sources, textual or illustrative. Sources also communicate with us even when we use them only as research objects. They were not however transmitted for this end, and certainly one cannot pose them clarifying questions. One way to reveal the underlying concepts is by means of wide contextualization. Nowadays, a number of linguistic theories focus on the inexpressible; among them are the conceptual metaphor theory, the prototype theory, and translation theories.

FECHA /DATE/DATA: 15-16/06/2019

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Basement (lecture hall U1125), Am Pulverturm 13, Institute for History, Theory and Ethics of Medicine ofthe University Medical Center Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Mainz, Germany)


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