Catharsis and Moral Therapy I: A Platonic Account
Solbakk, Jan Helge
Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 2006; 9(1): 57-67
This paper aims at analysing the ancient Greek notions of catharsis (clearing up, cleaning), to holon (the whole) and therapeia (therapy, treatment, healing) to assess whether they may be of help in addressing a set of questions concerning the didactics of medical ethics: What do medical students actually experience and learn when they attend classes of medical ethics? How should teachers of medical ethics proceed didactically to make students benefit morally from their teaching? And finally, to what extent and in what forms and formats can the kind of cathartic treatment envisaged by Plato still be considered a necessary preliminary to moral learning? The three questions will be addressed by means of a reconstructive analysis and assessment of the Platonic notions of catharsis and holistic therapy present in the Charmides and the Sophist. Besides, the didactic potential of Plato's dialogue form and moral regimen will be tried out. The ultimate aim is to investigate the possibilities of developing a therapeutic conception of medical ethics.
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The Barcelona Declaration: Policy Proposals to the European Commission. Basic Ethical Principles in European Bioethics and Biolaw Abel, Francesco; Botbol-Baum, Mylene; Brownsword, Roger; Collange, Jean-Francois; Delaisi de Parseval, Genevieve; Nielsen, Torben Hviid; Iglesias, Teresa; Kemp, Peter; Loureiro, Joao Carlos; Manuel, Catherine; Moulin, Madeleine; Nunes, Rui; Rubino, Francesco; Solbakk, Jan Helge; Thill, Georges; Torgersen, Helge (European Union. Partners in the BIOMED-II Project, 1998-11)