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Horizontes Antropológicos

Print version ISSN 0104-7183On-line version ISSN 1806-9983


DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias. Pessoa e dor no Ocidente (o “holismo metodológico” na Antropologia da Saúde e Doença). Horiz. antropol. [online]. 1998, vol.4, n.9, pp.13-28. ISSN 0104-7183.

This paper approaches key issues in the scope of an Anthropology of the so-called phenomena of “disease” and “health” which seeks to deconstruct the common perception where the experiences of suffering, of illness and their therapeutics resources seem “natural”. One stream of this Medical Anthropology, however, has taken the body to be pre-eminent, not only as a natural determining organism, but as an entity that serves as the active locus for the experience of the self. This line of study is seen as limited and biased because it is embedded in a specific notion of Personhood (as a singularized, interiorized subject, dependent upon a naturalized body of which the knowledge depends on specialized scientific knowledge). This notion of Personhood has its roots in an ideology of the individualism that is central to the modem western culture. The quest here points out the need for a “radical relativism” and for a radically symbolic heuristic strangeness toward any human experience, in order to grasp its inseparability from its structuring categories within each cultural system. In order for a social science to be a science of the social it needs a “relative relativization” of the ideological system that supports its own project as a science and it should try to get closer to the way man fulfills himself in the world.

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