The End of Modern Medicine

Biomedical Science under a Microscope

By Laurence Foss

Subjects: Science And Society
Series: SUNY series in Constructive Postmodern Thought
Paperback : 9780791451304, 351 pages, December 2001
Hardcover : 9780791451298, 351 pages, December 2001

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Table of contents

Foreword by I. R. McWhinney, O.C., M.D.

Introduction to SUNY Series in Constructive Postmodern Thought



Part One. Medical Ontology, the Post-Modern Challenge, and Its Historical Roots

1. Medical Ontology
2. The Question Never Asked
3. The Organic Solution
4. The Motive Faculty of the Soul
5. Pascal's Question
6. The Path Not Taken

Part Two. A Response: The Beginnings

7. Sciences of Complexity
8. Post-Cartesian Thought World
9. National Institute of Warts and All
10. The Ghost in the Machine

Part Three. The Levels of Argument

11. Founding Myth
12. The Shadow of Subjectivity
13. The Anxious Heart
14. Late Night Thoughts While Listening to Mahler
15. Complementary Medicine

Part Four. The Seeds of a New Revolution

16. For Want of a Vocabulary
17. The Birth of Psychobiology
18. Paradigm Shift
19. The Placebo Meta-Effect and Infomedical Science
20. Nature as Self-Referential and Bioculture Medicine

Part Five. Revolutionizing the Foundations: Modern Science under a Microscope

21. The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science
22. The Primordial Fireball, a Work in Progress?

Part Six. A Successor Scientific Medical Model

23. Humanizing Medical Science: The Systems Loop
24. Subjectivity and the Messengers of Information

Note in Supporting Center

Proposes a radically reconfigured medical model centered on mind-body interaction.


The End of Modern Medicine chronicles the work of a small, influential band of medical theorists and clinicians who over the past decade have sought to redress the physical fundamentalism of the biomedical model that shaped their professional training. Laurence Foss challenges the prevailing medical model whereby mind and body are essentially separated, and charts a new "psychobiological" course. Asking fresh questions, raising new possibilities, probing long-established preconceptions, Foss presents a radically reconfigured medical model. This model accounts for the full range of findings in the experimental literature, most notably those surfacing over the past quarter century in psychophysiological studies which show a correlation between psychosocial variables and disease susceptibility that are in line with what more basic sciences tell us about the behavior of material systems and the nature of scientific explanation. Foss also critically analyzes the regulative ideals of today's medical research community and puts modern science itself, from which these ideals derive, under a microscope.

Laurence Foss is the coauthor, with Kenneth Rothenberg, of The Second Medical Revolution: From Biomedicine to Infomedicine.


"Foss has focused upon a fascinating question: Is the biomedical model adequate to explain current evidence about factors that influence health? While there are many who are advocating for alternative views of health, Foss is one of very few who are making a scholarly attempt to revise the intellectual foundations of modern medicine." — Thomas Staiger, M.D., University of Washington