Patient Safety

The Relevance of Logic in Medical Care

Alexander L. Gungov. Translated by Tatiana Tzarvulanova

ibidem Press

Patient Safety

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Pub Date: October 2018

ISBN: 9783838212135

120 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $30.00

Pub Date: October 2018

ISBN: 9783838272139

120 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $19.99

Patient Safety

The Relevance of Logic in Medical Care

Alexander L. Gungov. Translated by Tatiana Tzarvulanova

ibidem Press

In our time of well-publicized health care travails, in the U.S. and the UK and elsewhere, matters of financing too often subsume the dimension of patient care. In his latest book, Alexander L. Gungov studies a vital but neglected aspect of patient safety. Of the thousands of medical errors committed on a daily basis, in the bulk of unfortunate clinical decisions, a significant share pertains to various logical flows and epistemological fallacies. By focusing on the logical dimensions of clinical medicine, Gungov promotes awareness of the logical and epistemological traps that lie in the day-to-day care of patients.

Such a focus not only allows us to avoid falling into them, but demonstrates the practical value of looking at medicine from a new philosophical perspective. That perspective involves a broad and unusual collection of philosophers. The discussion takes its starting point from J. S. Mill’s inductive methods and Giambattista Vico’s verum-factum principle, but then sets out a unique combination of Charles Sanders Peirce’s abductive reasoning, Immanuel Kant’s reflective judgment, as well as G. W. F. Hegel’s and D. P. Verene’s speculative thinking, all marshalled to present a novel philosophical account of clinical diagnostics. Interpretation of practical examples elucidate the logical aspect of medical errors and suggests strategies of overcoming them. The book as a whole demonstrates the value of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutical insights into the enigmatic character of health.

This much-needed book will be of interest to medical practitioners, health policy makers, patients and their families, and advanced students and scholars in medicine, the medical humanities, medical epistemology, and the philosophy of medicine in general.
Professor Gungov’s book is a unique contribution to the understanding of the interconnections of logic, philosophy, and medicine. Proper treatment of disease requires proper diagnosis. Diagnosis is more than the observation of symptoms. The symptoms must be formed into a narrative that employs the principles of logic. Gungov shows how this sense of diagnosis rightly involves Vico’s principle that ‘the true is the made’ as well as the Vichian concept of the ‘imaginative universal.’ He contrasts Vico’s approach to causality with that incorporated in Mill’s famous methods of induction. He relates induction to Peirce’s method of abduction and to the art of medical hermeneutics with attention to the views of Gadamer. Gungov’s discussion is vivified at every point with specific examples from medicine. His work always raises the right questions. It is necessary reading for anyone studying or practicing medicine as well as specialists in the philosophy of medicine. Thora Ilin Bayer, Professor of Philosophy, Xavier University, New Orleans
Dr. Gungov has written a very important book on medicine because most physicians are not aware of the logical principles that accompany their scientific inductions and deductions. They are trained in medicine, not philosophy, but they use logic to assess patient safety. This book should be required reading in medical schools, and in academic programs where logic is taught. Ken A. Bryson, professor emeritus of philosophy, Cape Breton University
Medical knowledge is developing on the frontier of knowledge of the various basic sciences and reflects their advance. Medical knowledge is also based on scientific evidence. The evidence develops on the basis of logical relationships combining the basic data about the etiology, pathogenesis, and clinics of diseases. The study of these relationships is of major importance for practicing clinicians and for scientific development in general. In this line of work the book Patient Safety by Alexander L. Gungov is a valuable study of the logical processes and cause and effect relationships in medical science. And if the popular statement goes that in medicine 2 + 2 does not always equal 4, this book proves it! This makes it invaluable for practicing clinicians, researchers, and leaders in healthcare systems. Rossen Kolarov, professor of face and jaw surgery, Varna Medical University

About the Author

Alexander L. Gungov is professor of logic and continental philosophy at the University of Sofia St. Kliment Ohridski and director of the M.A. and Ph.D. program in philosophy. He is the author of Logic of Deception and Logic in Medicine (both in Bulgarian). Gungov is the editor of Sofia Philosophical Review.