The Third Definition of Health

The third definition of health cannot stop at eradicating diseases and reducing risk factors. It also must address scales of values and individual behavior. If health is highly valued, people will take preventive action and seek treatment. Such behavior is in harmony with values and should be promoted and rewarded. But what does this definition of health mean? How can we achieve it? Let’s explore a few of these questions and find out. Towards a better world, we must put people’s health as our highest priority.


During the Second World War, the French resistance was waging a desperate battle to keep France free from fascist rule. The Gestapo invaded Strasbourg, injuring several students and professors. Canguilhem escaped and joined the French resistance, earning the Military Cross and the Medaille de la Resistance. He fought against fascism throughout his life, and died in Paris at age 91.

Canguilhem’s writings are excellent introductions to the modern world of medicine. His philosophical engagement of the elements of medicine is compelling and accessible. The book will influence history, anthropology, philosophy, bioethics, and the social studies of medicine. And while it is a short introduction to the work, the essays are profound and important. This work is one of the most important works of philosophy in the twentieth century, and its implications will be felt for centuries to come.

In addition to analyzing the social context of biomedical research, Canguilhem’s work has relevance for today’s society. He anticipates industrial biomedical technology in 1959 with “Therapeutics, Experimentation, and Responsibility,” which has become integrated into everyday life. It is also problematically linked with political projects. Canguilhem’s writings can help us understand our current health care system.

Canguilhem’s essay is a fascinating and inspiring piece of work. In it, he poses the question of the relation between living beings and their milieu. He notes that this milieu is not a given, but rather the product of their constitution. The milieu proper to man is the world of his perception, the field of his pragmatic experience, and the quality-bearing objects in his world. Canguilhem also emphasizes the problem of individuality.

Talcott explores the political, epistemological, and metaphysical views of Canguilhem, in the context of his life. He examines Canguilhem’s engagement with justice in relation to health. He views justice as a higher trans-organic form of health, and he calls for more concrete interventions in contemporary political affairs. He writes a series of articles based on this thesis during the crisis of 1958. Canguilhem is also insistent on the fundamental impossibility of an equitable organization of society and culture. The crisis he discusses leads to de Gaulle’s authoritarian fifth republic in 1958.

In the 1950s, Canguilhem’s work was largely ignored by neoclassical physicians. However, his concern about the use of statistics in health was not misplaced. He thought that the statistical approach obscured the existential dimension of health. Rather than using statistics to explain the complexities of the human body, he using probabilities. Canguilhem also accorded a major role to the epidemiological approach.

A significant contribution to the history of science in the twentieth century is Canguilhem’s On the Normal and the Pathological. Canguilhem analyzed how the concepts of normal and pathological were developed in the late nineteenth century. He shows that these categories were far from objective scientific concepts. His work shows that the politics of the day, as well as the epistemological foundations of modern biology, were entwined.

While Canguilhem’s work is not immediately accessible to lay readers, it is still relevant for interdisciplinary discussions of human health. For example, disability scholars need to pay more attention to his work. This author has provided a useful framework for thinking about disability studies, which is a key part of medical research. However, his writing style is not very accessible and may not be suitable for all students. Canguilhem’s approach is highly theoretical and complicated.