A vitally human medical geography? Introducing Georges Canguilhem to geographers
This paper discusses Georges Canguilhem (1904–95), a French historian of science and medicine, tracing themes in his work of normality, pathology and the situated bases of medical decision-making. His conception of the normal and the pathological prompts reconsideration of the move from medical to health geography, suggesting value in a ‘return’ to the former. His ideas embrace openness to vitalism, a focus on the processes of life that anticipates recent attempts to engage with ‘lively’ (post-human) geographies. His dialogue between vitalism and humanism, with reference to the ‘felt’ unwellness of the sick person, signals a path towards a vitally human medical geography.