On The Differences Between The Sciences: Comparing Knowledge(s) of Health and Disease in the Ancient and Modern Contexts

Dr Fran Collyer
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This paper examines Max Weber’s proposition that the difference between the ‘sciences’ (defined in the broadest, and most ancient sense) is one of values, contexts and theoretical orientation rather than subject matter. Through an exploration of contemporary sociological and biomedical knowledges of health and disease, and a distinctly different intellectual tradition - Greek scholarship on medicine during the 6th to 4th centuries BCE – this paper explores the truth of this claim. In the process, it produces a number of insights into the historical and contextualised formation of knowledge about health and disease.

Keywords: Knowledge, Sociology, Medicine, History, Medical Sociology
Stream: Sociology and Geography
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr Fran Collyer

Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, The University of Sydney
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Fran Collyer is the editor of Health Sociology Review, an international journal of health sociology and health policy, and is a sociologist of health and medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia. Fran convenes undergraduate units on the sociology of health and illness, research methods and the sociology of knowledge. She has a background in the provision of consultancy research to both government and industry, including the evaluation of health programs and the impact of technological change. Recent research interests have included the socio-political development of medical technologies and the privatisation of health care systems. Current research includes the analysis of the history of medical sociology and of past and present intellectual traditions pertaining to the concepts of health and disease.

Ref: I06P0290