Toward an Evolutionary Historiography and Epistemology of Medicine. The Legacy of Mirko Grmek


  • Gilberto Corbellini La Sapienza, University of Rome, I
  • Chiara Preti La Sapienza, University of Rome, I


Disease , Evolution , Pathocenosis


 Mirko Grmek has proved that a naturalistic approach to the history of medicine is possible. In his works he showed that the historical and epistemological research can use different kind of conceptual tools and knowledge, borrowed from history, anthropology and medicine, to understand more deeply the historic development of medical thinking. Moving from Grmek original concept of “pathocenosis” is possible to link his ideas to the evolutionary perspective, present in the contemporary medical thought as “evolutionary medicine” or “Darwinian medicine”. The last one sees the disease as an inconsistency between phenotypes and environmental conditions, and a by-product of the necessity to stock variations to respond to the mutability of external conditions. Today, the evolutionary approach to medicine gives us a new way for taking care of the sick. At the same time it supplies a new way to solve the eternal disease’s concept and medicine status.