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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Abstract

CZERESNIA, Dina. Science, technique, and culture: relations between risk and health practices. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.20, n.2, pp. 447-455. ISSN 0102-311X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2004000200012.

This article discusses the cultural consequences of discourses and practices aimed at training subjects for a rational, informed choice in relation to risks, calculated on the basis of scientific knowledge. The epidemiological risk concept is a central element in this process, especially in the context of health practices. The article begins by briefly characterizing the epidemiological risk concept, emphasizing that as an abstract model, it reduces the complexity of the phenomena it studies. Grasping reality through this abstraction generates values and meanings. Canguilhem's reflection on the relations between science, technique, and life is further discussed from the perspective of deepening an understanding of the cultural consequences of this process, contributing to the transformation of classical concepts of individuality, autonomy, and sociability. Such vital themes as individuality, alterity, and the relationship with death are present (albeit disguised) in issues that involve the central nature of risk in the contemporary world.

Keywords : Risk; Culture; Public Health Practice.

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