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Skills, Scalpels and Robots: The Surgeon as Technician

Del Fabbro, Olivier and Muller, Xavier (2021) Skills, Scalpels and Robots: The Surgeon as Technician. Philosophy of Medicine, 2 (1). pp. 1-12. ISSN 2692-3963

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According to Aristotle, medical practice relies on practical knowledge to care for individual patients. This is especially true for surgery, where the surgeon directly acts on a patient using not only technical skills but also acquired experience. We first describe the surgeon’s technical activity, which is directly linked to surgical tools and their historical evolution. Second, given that surgical activity aims at treating patients, we analyze which techniques and concurrent knowledge the surgeon must rely on to perform successful surgical operations. These characteristics are analyzed by using concepts from philosophy of technologies by André Leroi-Gourhan, Gilbert Simondon and John Dewey.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Del Fabbro, Olivierolivier.delfabbro@phil.gess.ethz.ch0000-0001-9476-8069
Muller, Xavierxmuller.ucl@gmail.com0000-0002-8849-5495
Keywords: Medicine & Surgery Surgical & Technical Activity Surgical & Technical Invention Surgical & Technical Knowledge Evolution of Surgical Objects Surgical Skills
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Medicine
Depositing User: Professor Alex Broadbent
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2022 14:09
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2022 14:09
Item ID: 21131
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy of Medicine
Publisher: University Library System, University of Pittsburgh
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.5195/pom.2021.21
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Medicine
Date: 10 March 2021
Page Range: pp. 1-12
Volume: 2
Number: 1
ISSN: 2692-3963

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