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Practical Reasoning – How the experience of the humanities can help train doctors

In this essay Professor Ronald Schleifer makes the case that the humanities train us in systematic attention to experience – and in particular, attention to linguistic and narrative knowledge – and he shows how this kind of attention can change the fundamental quality and outcome of interactions in the domain of medicine. This essay is a cogent argument for the interdisciplinary value of the humanities.

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It is the argument of this essay… [that] the humanities systematically develops what the late nineteenth century American philosopher and polymath Charles Sanders Peirce calls ‘habits of thought,’ engendered through systematic disciplinary study of language, history, philosophy, and art forms, to develop certain forms of attention that allow people, habitually, to notice certain kinds of things that they would otherwise miss.

In this essay Professor Ronald Schleifer makes the case that the humanities train us in systematic attention to experience – and in particular, attention to linguistic and narrative knowledge – and he shows how this kind of attention can change the fundamental quality and outcome of interactions in the domain of medicine. This essay is a cogent argument for the interdisciplinary value of the humanities.

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