Title

Family Medicine as a Social Science

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1981

Journal

The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy

Volume

6

Issue

4

First Page

387

Last Page

410

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jmp/6.4.387

Abstract

The branch of clinical medicine most likely to qualify as a social science is family medicine. Whether family medicine is a social science is addressed in four steps. First, the nature of family medicine is outlined. Second, the extent to which social science knowledge is used in family practice is discussed. Third, the extent to which family medicine can qualify as a social science is considered with respect to an orthodox model of the social sciences, that is, one that emphasizes affinities between the natural and social sciences. Finally, the same question is addressed with respect to an unorthodox model of the social sciences, that is, one that stresses the evaluative nature of the social sciences.