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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790X

Abstract

CZERESNIA, Dina. Body interfaces: the integration of alterity into the concept of disease. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2007, vol.10, n.1, pp. 19-29. ISSN 1415-790X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2007000100003.

Western culture has fragmented the body into a restrictive theoretical perspective that gave rise to different reality orders: biological, psychic and social. This article identifies the limits of biomedicine for integrating alterity into the concept of disease, as one of the relevant gaps for the approximation between the concepts of psyche and the biological body. It presents the proposition that the body interfaces are crucial for the understanding of the constitution of the biological body in individuation processes. It raises the possibility that there may be an epistemological transformation in medicine, based on the value that studies place on the biological phenomena that take place in these interfaces. It emphasizes, upon the analysis of recent medical literature, indications of a possible integration of alterity into the concept of disease. This analysis delves into the growing design of discourses on the relationship with microorganisms and their importance in the ontogenesis of the human body, and consequently, in the etiology of diseases.

Keywords : Disease etiology; Psychosomatics; Ontogenesis; Microorganisms; Immune system.

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