He took up a post at the Clermont-Ferrand based University of Strasbourg in , and received his medical doctorate in , in the middle of World War II. Using the pseudonym "Lafont" Canguilhem became active in the French Resistance , serving as a doctor in Auvergne. By he was the French equivalent of department chair in philosophy at Strasbourg as well. Seven years later, he was named a professor at the Sorbonne and succeeded Gaston Bachelard as the director of the Institut d'histoire des sciences, a post he occupied until , at which time he undertook an active emeritus career. Canguilhem's principal work in philosophy of science is presented in two books, Le Normal et le pathologique , first published in and then expanded in , and La Connaissance de la vie Le Normal et la pathologique is an extended exploration into the nature and meaning of normality in medicine and biology, the production and institutionalization of medical knowledge.

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Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Normal and the Pathological by Georges Canguilhem ,. Michel Foucault Introduction. Carolyn R. Fawcett Translator.

The Normal and the Pathological is one of the crucial contributions to the history of science in the last half century. It takes as its starting point the sudden appearance of biology as a science in the 19th-century and examines the conditions determining its particular makeup. Canguilhem analyzes the radically new way in which health and disease were defined in the early The Normal and the Pathological is one of the crucial contributions to the history of science in the last half century.

Canguilhem analyzes the radically new way in which health and disease were defined in the early 19th-century, showing that the emerging categories of the normal and the pathological were far from being objective scientific concepts. He demonstrates how the epistemological foundations of modern biology and medicine were intertwined with political, economic, and technological imperatives.

Canguilhem was an important influence on the thought of Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser, in particular for the way in which he poses the problem of how new domains of knowledge come into being and how they are part of a discontinuous history of human thought.

Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published October 28th by Zone Books first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Normal and the Pathological , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Normal and the Pathological. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Normal and the Pathological. Feb 27, Philippe Malzieu rated it it was amazing. Can a book change your life?

I read it at the high school on the advices of my professor of philosophy. At this time, I hesitated between medicine and philosophy. The little red book. Canguilhem, resistant to the Nazi, physician and philosopher. In short a model, a hero. He has given the aggregation of philosophy to Foucault. It was a completed time or France had great thinkers. Philosopher and physician, he made the synthesis in this work which takes again its thesis of Canguilhem fights po Can a book change your life?

Canguilhem fights positivism very present in medicine as in Claude Bernard for example. For him, the pathological status is defined like a quantitative variation compared to the normality. For Canguilhem, the disease is perceived qualitatively by the patient. Pathological status must be defined both quanttatively and qualiatively.

Thank you Georges. View 2 comments. Jul 02, David M rated it it was amazing. A wise, provocative book. Some quotes: "Health is organic innocence. It must be lost, like all innocence, so that knowledge may be possible. But to fail to admit from a biological point of view, life differentiates between its states means condemning oneself to be even unable to distinguish food from excrement. Certainly a living being's excrement can be food for another living being but not for him.

What distinguishes A wise, provocative book. What distinguishes food from excrement is not a physicochemical reality but a biological value. Likewise, what distinguishes the physiological from the pathological is not a physicochemical objective reality but a biological value.

It is appropriate to contrast to the overly exploited Socratic maxim no knowing man is evil, the opposite maxim that no one is good who is aware of being so. Similarly no one is healthy who is aware of being so But it is in the rage of guilt as in the clamor of suffering that innocence and health arise as the terms of a regression as impossible as it is sought after.

View all 8 comments. Feb 09, Rachel rated it it was amazing Shelves: nonfiction. I am totally obsessed with this book, I keep reading it over and over again. Dec 28, Ryan rated it really liked it Shelves: philosophy , science. A very important book, profound, but occasionally difficult to get through. Canguilhem, for his renown as a philosopher, originally trained as a physician and wrote his thesis, which forms the first section of this volume, at the completion of his medical doctorate from the University of Strasbourg.

Point being, there are long passages of medical detail that are impenetrable and uninteresting to someone coming at this from a philosophical or history of science angle. What is most interesting is A very important book, profound, but occasionally difficult to get through. What is most interesting is the assault on the perception of life sciences, the investigation of how they are framed and frame themselves, teasing their conclusions into various threads - the normal, norms, normativity, error, health, disease, physiology - and using this analysis to challenge the self-conception.

Beyond his writing, Canguilhem was incredibly influential in the second half of the 20th century in France through his institutional positions as Inspector General and, later, President of the Jury d'Agregation in Philosophy. His impact on thinkers such as Derrida, Althusser, Lacan, and particularly Foucault, are easy to trace and to "feel. A fine set of poles to connect. Happy to have corrected that omission. Je n'en dors plus de la nuit.

Uscito nel , Il normale e il patologico rappresenta un lavoro pionieristico sia dal punto di vista metodico che per il contenuto.

Il lavoro dei Canguilhem oscilla tra una storia della scienza epistemologica e un'epistemologia della storia della scienza. Questo approccio "oggettivo" si dimostra paradossalmente privo dell'oggetto fondante la medicina, ovvero il soggetto malato. Se non ci fossero malati non ci sarebbe nemmeno la medicina.

E' l'uomo, in ultima istanza, a definire quali sono le norme della propria vita. Lo studio di Canguilhem, a quasi un secolo di distanza, si dimostra estremamente attuale e ricco di spunti di riflessione. La medicina di oggi riflette senza dubbio questo cambio di paradigma, con le sfide della nuova frontiera medica, quali l'EBM evidence-based medicine e la medicina personalizzata. Solo l'uomo nello stato di natura si ammala da solo, e proprio per questo non lo si potrebbe nemmeno definire malato.

Sep 30, Marco Pontual rated it it was ok. Quando il sapere filosofico si unisce alla pratica medica Recomiendo leerlo con cuidado y sin muchas distracciones, es todo un reto. Jun 27, Alex Akesson added it.

Complex view of normal rationale. Jun 05, Jake rated it it was amazing. As there is a psychological assurance which is not presumption, there is a biological assurance which is not excess, which is health. Health is a regulatory fly-wheel of the possibilities of reaction. Life is usually just this side of its possibilities, but when necessary is shows itself above its anticipated capacity


Georges Canguilhem



ISBN 13: 9789682301834


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