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Evolution Of Sickness And Healing
by Horacio Fabrega
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Roy Porter, Times Literary Supplement
"Survey[s] the entire panorama of human health and sickness, disease, and doctoring, from hominid times onwards."
Robert Martensen, New England Journal of Medicine
"Heretofore, sociobiologists have had relatively little to say to orthodox medicine. Fabrega seeks to remedy this reticence by applying sociobiologic theory to sickness and healing behavior from the beginnings of the human presence on Earth to the present."
Evolution of Sickness and Healing is a theoretical work on the grand scale, an original synthesis of many disciplines in social studies of medicine. Looking at human sickness and healing through the lens of evolutionary theory, Horacio Fàbrega, Jr. presents not only the vulnerability to disease and injury but also the need to show and communicate sickness and to seek and provide healing as innate biological traits grounded in evolution. This linking of sickness and healing, as inseparable facets of a unique human adaptation developed during the evolution of the hominid line, offers a new vantage point from which to examine the institution of medicine.
To show how this complex, integrated adaptation for sickness and healing lies at the root of medicine, and how it is expressed culturally in relation to the changing historical contingencies of human societies, Fàbrega traces the characteristics of sickness and healing through the early and later stages of social evolution. Besides offering a new conceptual structure and a methodology for analyzing medicine in evolutionary terms, he shows the relevance of this approach and its implications for the social sciences and for medical policy. Health scientists and medical practitioners, along with medical historians, economists, anthropologists, and sociologists, now have the opportunity to consider every essential aspect of medicine within an integrated framework.
From the Inside Flap
"Establishing a theoretical base and framework for future studies in this new field of 'medical evolution,' the book is important and will be read and referred back to for years to come."--Frederick L. Dunn, University of California, San Francisco
From the Back Cover
"Establishing a theoretical base and framework for future studies in this new field of 'medical evolution,' the book is important and will be read and referred back to for years to come." (Frederick L. Dunn, University of California, San Francisco)
About the Author
Horacio Fábrega Jr., M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is author of Disease and Social Behavior (1980) and, with Daniel Silver, Illness and Shamanistic Curing in Zinacantan (1973).
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