dimanche 23 mars 2008

Haïku de Pâques

Un haïku a été envoyé à mon blog japonais par Miko. Ma version de traduction est le suivant:

    ルージュだけ放埓にみせ復活祭   ミコ

     le rouge seul
      laisse une impression libertine
       le jour de Pâques

      (traduit par Paul Ailleurs)

C'était difficile de traduire "放埓に". Vos suggestions sont les bienvenues.

samedi 22 mars 2008

Listening to Idir

We are in the middle of 3 day Easter holiday. Contrary to the mood outside, I am a little depressed because I have to prepare for the examination of basics of philosophy of sciences. Particularly for logic, many things to be learned and learned differently. I am not in the mood for logic this holiday. Instead I listened to the music of Idir, a musician, born in a Berber village in northern Algeria. I got to know him only a few days ago. His photo, along with Gandhi (see the previous post), was up in the metro, but his face was not familiar. So I asked a young lady waiting just next to me and she spelled out his name. And violà. I loved his music. It has a nostalgic air, and I can feel an energy from somewhere deep inside. I hope you will also enjoy it.

site officiel
YouTube : 1, 2, 3

I don't know why, but I have been attracted to the Maghreb countries for last several years. His music makes me feel like visit these countries sooner and experience their cultural ambiance. From Paris, it is only a few hours flight away. I hope I can achieve this goal this year.

(March 25, 2008)
I posted the same article in the Japanese blog and received today a comment from one of the readers who corrected the identity of the person in the photo next to Gandhi. That is not Idir but famous comedian Coluche (October 28, 1944 – June 19, 1986). You can check the validity for yourself. In any case, I am happy to have got to know one more new person in this world.

jeudi 20 mars 2008

Books arrived

Three books arrived this morning. All related to the philosophy of disease. Kurt Goldstein's book is one of the classics and a must for a person who wants to pursue philosophy of medicine.

1) Kurt Goldstein "La structure de l'organisme"
2) Claudine Herzlich "Santé et maladie : Analyse d'une représentation sociale"
3) François Laplantine "Anthropologie de la maladie"

mardi 18 mars 2008

A friend visited from Nagasaki

Last night, I received a friend from Nagasaki, Japan. He is professor at the Medical School of Nagasaki University. I did not remember when it all started, but according to him, we first met about 8 years ago at an international symposium held in Fukuoka, Japan. After that first encounter, I invited him to give a talk at the institute where I had worked until last spring.

During our conversation over dinner at a restaurant in the Latin Quarter that started in 1906, I asked him the situation of medical education in Japan, particularly "soft part" including medical history, medical philosophy, and bioethics, for example. To my surprise and of course to my relief, medical history is taught in the course of first year at the university, and bioethics (for example, how to cope with diseased or aged patients) thereafter one lecture per week. But never the principle of medical philosophy that covers fundamental problems such as "what is" disease and health and how we perceive the sate of disease, among others. I think it important to think about these issues from the start of medical education, therefore better implement the course of medical philosophy in the Japanese education system.

I am not only interessed in the history of medicine in Europe but also how medicine has been incorporated in the culture of Japan. Because Nakasaki was the only city open to the world during the "Sakoku", (lock-up of the country) due to the isolation policy of the then-government, and the Nagasaki University has the oldest medical school in Japan (established in November 12, 1857; see below), I asked him the situation of historical data. Unfortunately, because of the location of the medical school, the most part was destroyed during the last war. In any case, in the near future, I would like to visit his university, to talk with people there and to look at the data still left at the university.

Philosophy of Nagasaki University

Nagasaki University implements its own educational research under the following philosophy.

Nagasaki University makes contribution to well-balanced development of society by cultivating fertile senses in the students and creating science for the world peace, while inheriting the traditional culture in Nagasaki.

In the mid-17th century, the Edo Shogunate of Japan banned for 200 years overseas communications and strictly controlled diplomatic exchange and trading. During this period, however, Nagasaki was the only port where foreign vessels were allowed to enter. Hence, youths from all over Japan traveled long distances and gathered in Nagasaki to learn the world’s latest in science, technology and culture. The whole city of Nagasaki at that time was like a university, where it was a region for learning. We, at Nagasaki University, inherited the "innovative spirit" that evolved from the traditional character of this region, that is, "a region for learning".

Nagasaki is the one place in Japan that has expressed deep involvement in issues regarding the sanctity of life. In the 16th century, Nagasaki was most strongly influenced by Christianity (Catholicism). However, many lives became victims of religious persecution.

Moreover, at 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945, Nagasaki experienced terrible devastation from the atomic bombing. The lives of a total of 979 students and employees from schools and colleges (the Nagasaki Medical College and its College of Pharmaceutical Science, Nagasaki College of Economics, Nagasaki Normal School, Nagasaki Youth Normal School) that later merged to form Nagasaki University in 1949 also became victims of this disaster.

We, at Nagasaki University, have embraced a proactive will "to achieve a world where man can coexist in peace" in education and research. In spite of the inhumane negative legacies of religion and science that challenged the respect for the dignity of life, we seek the lessons to be learned from the experience of Nagasaki.

Since the establishment in November 12, 1857 of the "Igaku Denshusho", oldest medical school in Japan, the various organizations that constitute Nagasaki University have been serving the purpose of creating and accumulating "new knowledge" for the last 150 years.

We, at Nagasaki University, will serve to pass on throughout the ages and to peoples of different sense of values the "knowledge" that has been nurtured in Nagasaki. We also hope to contribute to the peaceful development of local and international communities by creating new sciences that will pave the way to a brighter future and nurturing students who love humanity and possess a rich spirit.

(from HP of Nagasaki University)


C'est mon premier jour sur VerveEarth. Je me sens comme si je vivais dans le monde totalement différent.

dimanche 16 mars 2008

After the meeting with my friend

Yesterday, I met a friend of my university days for the first time in the last 30 years. He travels in France with his family at the occasion of his retirement. After walking in the Montparnasse area, we had a diner at a sea food restaurant. During our conversation, he talked about his experience with cerebrovascular accident that attacked him about 10 years ago. In the course of his illness, he has never felt healed physically and more importantly psychologically. From his experience at the hospital, I had a feeling that there is something wrong about the present system of medical practice, and that it is time to think about the problems surrounding medicine today.

First of all, there is no definitive definition of disease (illness or sickness) and health. How you perceive "disease" is critical to the successful healing, because that determines the attitude of the doctor and the society toward the patient and therefore the psychological state of the patient. This is certainly a scientific issue but I think this requires more of philosophical reflections. Secondly, I wondered again whether the medical education considers seriously this aspect of medicine, because of my impression or prejudice that the doctor today does not see the patient as a suffering person but as an expression of clinical data.

Contracting a disease is an inevitable event in our life. After our meeting, I reaffirmed that a deep understanding of the issues on health and disease will be one of my projects in the future and believe that will change the whole picture not only of medical practice but of our life.


boglady said...

Yes, I agree that doctors generally do not try to connect with the patients in ways other than clinical symptoms and prescribing the correct medication. Perhaps it requires a lot of wisdom and well defined knowing of self along with a recognized medical philosophy. In the U. S., the Drs. are overworked and always worrying about liability suits. Litigation lawyers appear on TV ads listing conditions and then suggesting that it may be a malpractice issue. In Chicago, Illinois, most of the obstetricians have fled to the suburbs and other areas due to high malpractice suits here. Well, what can one expect? People are plugged into their entertainment and prefer to live alone. About half of my circle of friends are on antidepressants.

Without a regular connection of others, both patients and doctors are out of balance. I hope you can find a way of helping the medical people to think this thru.

paul_ailleurs said...

Thank you for your comments. Not necessarily in the U.S., the situations surrounding the medical practice are similar in the developed countries including Japan. Waiting for hours to see the doctor for just 5-10 minutes. Under these conditions, it is almost impossible to establish a reasonable patient-doctor relation. And I can understand the doctor only see the numbers in the clinical exam. I think the patient's way of looking at diseases is strongly influenced by the reductionist view, seen in the attitude of just demanding the medicament, for example. Litigation problem is prevalent also in Japan, one of the influences from the U.S., I believe.

I totally agree with you. We need a certain philosophical basis of how we perceive disease and health and this is not only the problem of medical side but the problem of our perception. We probably have to shift our thinking from the mechanistic or reductionist view to the holistic one, I think at the present time. As our ancestors say, to philosophize is to change the way of look at things. We definitely have to philosophize on this big problem.

"Pour une philosophie de la maladie" par François Dagognet

Yesterday morning, a book arrived. The book by François Dagognet, entitled "Pour une philosophie de la maladie" ("For a philosophy of disease"). I started to read first in the open air, and then in a café. Let me briefly introduce this philosopher of medicine.

François Dagognet (born 1924)

According to the portrait in the book, he had troubled adolescent days and only started to study in school at the age of 15. When he was 18 years old, he worked from June to November and philosophized the rest of the year to assure his liberty. He then attended Sorbonne, but his professor did not satisfy him. After a year at Sorbonne, he left for Strasbourg to study under Georges Canguilhem and finished his study in philosophy in 1949. He went on to study medicine and obtained the degree from a small medical school in Dijon where Roger Guillemin also attended. There he learned many important things in clinical practice, such as listening to his patients, to globally understand disease. As a professor of philosophy at University of Lyon and then at University of Paris 1, François Dagognet writes many books in which the spirit of Dijon is lively expressed.

This book is in the form of interview and covers the genealogy of medical thinking, problem of bioethics and health policies. It is easy to read. I enjoyed the part of medical history, particularly, the duel between two school of thoughts, which persists even today. One school (l'école sémiologique) looks directly at patients, whereas the other (l'école instrumentaliste) looks objectively at diseases. This division will give us an important hint when we reflect on the problem of health and disease.

mardi 11 mars 2008

Retrouvailles, plus de 30 ans après

Hier soir, j'ai eu un rendez-vous avec un ami de mon université. C'était la première fois dans plus de 30 dernières années. Nous étions les membres de l'orchestre d'étudiants. Il a joué du tuba, moi de la trompette. Après avoir promené dans le quartier de Montparnasse, nous avons dîné au restaurant de fruits de mer. Dans notre conversation, il a parlé d'avoir souffert d'une crise d'attaque cérébrale il y a environ 10 ans et de la vie suivante jusqu'à présent. En écoutant son histoire, je me suis demandé si la médecine d'aujourd'hui ou le système médical regardait le patient comme une personne souffrante. Je devait finalement conclure qu'il y avait un gros problème dans la pratique médicale contemporaine. Je vais réfléchir sur ce point comme l'un des thèmes pour mon futur activité.

Il voyage cette fois en France avec sa famille. Hier il est venu de Rouen. Avant de venir en France, il n'était pas intéressé particulièrement par la France. Mais après une semaine en France, il y a trouvé quelque chose d'attractif. Je ne sais quoi, mais c'est tout ce qu'il a dit.

vendredi 7 mars 2008

Le printemps est proche

J'ai reçu un autre haïku d'une lectrice de mon blog japonais. Il était difficile de traduire "高くして". Toutes les suggestions sont bienvenues.

   啓蟄やパティシエの帽子高くして  ミコ

      le troisième terme solaire
        est la toque d'un pâtissier

       (Miko; traduit par paul-ailleurs)

(10 mars 2008)
Chris m'a introduit le site pour le kigo dans lequel j'ai trouvé une version intéressante pour 啓蟄. Donc, la nouvelle version.

      le réveil des insectes
        est la toque d'un pâtissier

       (Miko; traduit par paul-ailleurs)