Duelling ontologies: might vitalism offer balance and value?

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Richards, D, Emmanuel, E & Grace, S 2017, 'Duelling ontologies: might vitalism offer balance and value?', Explore, vol. 13, issue 2, pp. 133-138.

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This article is part of a project investigating chiropractors' beliefs on the role of vitalism in their philosophical and practice approaches and how that might contribute to addressing current epidemics of non-communicable diseases. It aims to present atomism, reductionism, materialism and mechanism as fundamental ontologies in biomedicine and to examine what role these might play in its struggle to deal with these epidemics; to present vitalism as a fundamental ontology existing in chiropractic along with these ontologies of biomedicine; and to discuss how imbalances in the use of these ontologies and practices stemming from them might be contributing to difficulties in addressing these epidemics. The use of more balanced approaches by chiropractors involving not only mechanistic biomedical ontologies but also an increased focus on vitalism might offer value in addressing these epidemics and should be investigated.

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