The claim in this essay is that, ‘practice of medicine has a basis in science. Many arguments are proposed describing different viewpoints on how humanity understands it. There are counter arguments that medical practice has basis in art, intuition and even culture. Practice of medicine is a science. The science community cannot practice without a set of widely agreed beliefs.
These beliefs form the basis for education and prepare professionals for practice (Kuhn 5). A normal science is predictable based on assumptions that the scientific community understands the world. Scientists go to extreme lengths to clarify this. Normal science hence represses vital novelties due to their subversive nature of their basic commitments. Research is hence an exhausting and stanch effort that forces nature into conceptual boxes supplied by professional education (Kuhn 5).
Neuroscience is one of the major branches of medicine. Neuropsychologist, VS Ramachandran has had special interest in philosophical aspects of neuroscience developments. He has put special prominence on unconscious aspects of cognition. This viewpoint might make him an Epiphenomenalist (Ramachandran 99). This refers to the principles where consciousness is virtually a small aspect of behavior.
Those who believe in the notion of epiphenomenalism believe unconscious models process behavior – Volition in this case a mere illusion of the brain. Even though Ramachandran criticizes the idea of humans being epiphenomenon, he does not recognize that many neural processes have only the most peripheral relationships with consciousness (Ramachandran 99). According to Ramachandran, consciousness is casual, though many aspects of human behavior do not relate to consciousness.
To practice medicine, issues like consciousness are important to address and attach scientific evidence in relationship to behavior. In this argument, Ramachandran portrays a picture that human beings are strange beings. This can be explained as partly have intractable agency and partly they are zombie (Ramachandran 99).
The important thing about Ramachandran is that he was not only a philosopher but also a neuroscientist. Therefore, his mysterious ideas of human consciousness attract some followers. He also builds his argument on evidence from the latest neuroscience. However, regardless of this, it is pertinent to address these arguments (Ramachandran 112).
A strong believer in empiricism would consider the use of experimentation of consciousness by observing the variables at work. This will critically help to rise above the logical barrier. Where there is no germane information, philosophy tends to use reason to provide logic. An innovative approach of experiment in science, leads to discovery of new processes that help decipher longstanding problems (Ramachandran 115).
Besides the Neuropsychologist, Ramachandran, a mathematician, Jacob Bronowski argues that science is introduced to human imagination and evolution in a unique way (Bronowski 234). Bronowski describes the power of imagination in humans as a unique feature making them different from other animals. He defines imagination by using his own concepts and the function they play in the human spheres of knowledge like science (Bronowski 234). The power of imagination has an impact on humans in different ways and it is unique to humans. Bronowski says imagination combines art and science.
Bronowski cites examples where scientists have used a combination of scientific methods and imagination, For instance, a famous scientist like Galileo. The leaning tower of Pisa experiment is deemed to have been a mind game (Bronowski 245).
Aristotle on the other hand envisioned that two balls of different masses joined and dropped from a considerable height, would fall at a faster speed. If Aristotle’s presumption were, correct that different masses fell at different speeds (Bronowski 245). Two masses joined form greater mass that hence fall at greater speed. Small balls fall as slower rate than one big ball. It is important for Bronowski to identify that imagination allowed deeper and actual sense of reality.
Human nature limits imagination the same way perception of the surroundings in the world is limited by human senses. For example, location of place and time requires strong imagination; this includes recollecting the previous experiences and then predicting (Bronowski 248). One challenge is that, memory sometimes fades when there are constant reminders.
Moreover, the more one tries to predict the future the less accurate people get. Even though imagination is limited, it is still powerful. Human race may not have made important discoveries of knowledge like advent of writing. These important discoveries in human evolution also prove that only human beings posses imagination ability (Bronowski 123).
Science often clashes with religion. Sometimes it seems to offer certain ultimate truths while at times, people perceive it to be a contradiction of normal and natural human practices. Barbara Ehrenreich purports that scientists conduct researches in order to discover ultimate others from nature or have knowledge like God’s (Ehrenreich 406).
This strong pursuit of the ultimate other has made science look like a religion in itself (Ehrenreich 406). Since gives meaning to life based on its objectivity. Sickness allows human to practice certain humanistic characteristics to further knowledge. The ability to conduct research is a gift worth practicing to provide meaning to life.
Pursuit of science, according to Ehrenreich has resulted in worldly rewards like better pay, power and celebrity statuses for those who are incredibly successful in this field (Ehrenreich 407). Lying in science is quite difficult and most scientists tend to pursue truths and hence strengthen the sanctity of science. Truths and important facts work to progress knowledge while lies in science hinder advancement of knowledge. They would in fact cripple the whole process of progression of knowledge since science future facts rely on the current knowledge (Ehrenreich 408). The responsibility of humans is to ensure advancement of ultimate truths.
Knowledge can be very dangerous if not used properly in medicine. The stories of people like Frankenstein are very important in explaining pursuit of knowledge. Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne is an interesting story that helps to highlight the importance of pursuing useful knowledge and understanding the limits of science (Hawthorne 1).
In the latter part on the 20th century, the story begins saying that there was a man of science who was very proficient in every aspect of natural philosophy. Aylmer, the scientist also practiced spiriticism besides working as a scientist in his laboratory (Hawthorne 1). Aylmer in fact left his laboratory to his assistant cleaned everything he used: the furnace, the equipment and thoroughly cleaned himself of any stains from the lab as it were to pursue love (Hawthorne 2). He found a woman, Georgiana, who he wanted to marry.
The bride had a birthmark on her face. According to Aylmer, that birthmark was a sign of imperfection to her stunning beauty; therefore, he wanted to remove that mark. Georgiana’s building ought to be a blessing…however, a mark tarnished it (Hawthorne 2). Aylmer had a dream where he believes that he could remove the mark. After sharing with his dream with his fiancé about how he could remove the mark, she agreed to remove the mark regardless of the risk she has to endure (Hawthorne 3).
In those days, before the discovery of electricity and other nature’s mysteries, doors to miracles were wide open. However, it was still not normal for love of a woman to surpass love of science. In such pursuits, imagination, intellect and the heart may find hospitable alignment (Hawthorne 3). These combinations could ascend to a greater intelligence that could allow creation of a new world.
Back to the story, after, Aylmer locked himself in the lab to try to remove the mark on his fiancés face, he made a number of fragrances and poison. When his fiancé talks about death, he pours some little poison on a dying plant, which immediately turned to life (Hawthorne 3). He gave her the drink and put her to deep sleep (Hawthorne 3). Aylmer works on the mark, which disappeared. When Georgiana woke up, she feels dizzy. Aylmer, besides removing the mark, could only watch her die from the poison.
Most Americans always believe that they get the best quality of healthcare because there is high sophistication of scientific methods in medical practice. For good reasons, the clinical researches conducted in the world appear in journals after peer review (Kumar, and Nash 12). Health facilities always advertise latest technologies and better processes in medicine. However, there is a little gap in the evidence (Kumar, and Nash 12).
Americans believe that physicians work based on solid scientific evidence. Their diagnoses and prescriptions reflect latest research and inventions. Medical decisions is seen as a fraught as it is often based on inherent subjectivity, some very essential and beneficial to patients and some unsound and potentially hazardous (Kumar, and Nash 13). For such reasons, many Americans often get treatments that are not proven to be clinical beneficial. It is common to find patients with same health problems receiving wildly different prescriptions from different doctors (Kumar, and Nash 12).
Bronowski, Jacob. The Reach of Imagination. Michigan: Phi Beta Kappa.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. Science, Lies And The Ultimate Truth, Essay. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1991. Print.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Birthmark. Penguin: New York, 1996. Print.
Kuhn, Thomas. The Route to Normal Science. Chicago: The University Of Chicago Press, 1970. Print.
Kumar, Sanjaya, and David Nash. Health Care Myth Busters: Is There a High Degree of Scientific certainty in Modern Medicine, 2011.
Ramachandran, Debra. A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness. New York: Pi Press, 2004. Print.