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Anthroposophy and Science

An Introduction

Peter Heusser

This book is the first thorough introduction into the scientific basis of anthroposophy and anthroposophical medicine in the context of academic science. On a sound epistemological basis and in the context of current debates it analyses basic concepts of physics, chemistry, genetics, morphogenesis, biology, neurobiology, psychology, and philosophy of mind, with an emphasis on the problems of life, mind-body interactions, and free will. The result is a non-reductionistic anthropology acknowledging the emergent properties of body, life, soul, and spirit as equally real entities. This concurs with the basic concepts of anthroposophy and anthroposophical medicine, the justification of which is discussed in relation to the history and methodology of science as well as evidence based medicine.


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From the very first conversations with the author of this book, it soon became apparent that we shared a common attitude towards medicine: the struggle to understand and put into practice an integration of all effective measures when caring for people as individuals in both health and illness. In this book, Peter Heusser has made the unusual attempt to create the foundation for a com- plete scientific and empirical integration of the different medical approaches. The result goes far beyond the customary confrontation of the natural sci- entific and spiritually oriented ways of looking at medicine and, with his evidence-based logic, provides inspiration for a completely new insight into human nature for a medicine of the future. The rapid and skilful change of perspective which runs throughout the book testifies to a rare tolerance of apparently opposing ways of thinking and to a medical attitude which can only develop from a devoted involvement with patients. Through the view of the human being developed here the ancient but often paternalistically compromised medical attitude of “voluntas aegroti suprema lex” seems to me to be given new meaning and a new justification. But what fascinates me the most is that Peter Heusser’s reflections encourage the demand for a scientific re-evaluation using suitable methods, methods which cover a massive span of the whole spectrum from atomic physics via biological diagnostic techniques in molecular medicine all the way to qualitative research in the arts and social sciences and finally to medical research in the healthcare...

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