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Vol. 19 No. 1 (2021)

The Commodification of Humanism: Methods, Marketing, and Morals of a Postmodern Shift in the Philosophy of Medicine

December 20, 2020


Consideration of the history of medicine reveals a postmodern shift in the philosophy of medicine, one that arguably strays from its humanist foundations. Though often attributed to Sir William Osler’s contributions, the modernization of medicine extends beyond his influence, as well as beyond his time. Peaking in the mid-1900s, the paradigm shift in the philosophy of medicine continues to compel a certain dichotomy between humanism and medicine today. Despite being historically intertwined, medicine distances itself from humanism amidst the institutionalization, depersonalization, and monetization of the medical field. Notably, the commodification of medicine entails three central themes: methods, marketing, and morals.


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