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Physis: Revista de Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1809-4481


PUTTINI, Rodolfo Franco; PEREIRA JUNIOR, Alfredo  and  OLIVEIRA, Luiz Roberto de. Explanatory models in collective health: bio-psycho-social complexity and self-organization. Physis [online]. 2010, vol.20, n.3, pp.753-767. ISSN 1809-4481.

The complexity of the health-disease process has elicited the postulation of a diversity of explanatory models. We make a brief review of the proposals, starting with the biomedical model derived from the 19th century medicine. This model influenced the approach on the natural history of disease, and the debate on epidemiologic models in the context of the Latin-American Social Medicine. Broadening the spectrum of the discussion, we introduce the idea of circular causality, proposed by theories of self-organizing systems. We argue that, in a transdisciplinary perspective, these explanatory models are not conflicting. A key notion to understand these classes of concomitant explanatory models is the "Baldwin Effect", describing a dialectic or coevolutionary relation between nature, social organization and culture.

Keywords : health-disease process; self-organization; coevolution; epistemology of health sciences.

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