Phronesis, Clinical Reasoning, and Pellegrino's Philosophy of Medicine
Davis, F. Daniel
Theoretical Medicine. 1997 Mar-Jun; 18(1-2): 173-195.
In terms of Aristotle's intellectual virtues, the process of clinical reasoning and the discipline of clinical medicine are often construed as techne (art), as episteme (science), or as an amalgam or composite of techne and episteme. Although dimensions of process and discipline are appropriately described in these terms, I argue that phronesis (practical reasoning) provides the most compelling paradigm, particularly of the rationality of the physician's knowing and doing in the clinical encounter with the patient. I anchor this argument, moreover, in Pellegrino's philosophy of medicine as a healing relationship, oriented to the end of a right and good healing action for the individual patient.
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