Paul Kalanithi 's When Breath Becomes Air

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Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air illuminates a deep epistemological tension between science, through the medical institution and philosophy. Kalanithi shows through the medical field and the progression of death, that philosophy and science are not diametrically opposed, but science has progresses through over medicalization of the body while ignoring the philosophically constructed conception of human nature. Moreover, outside the literary context of When Breath Becomes Air, this dialogue is complicated, by the contemporary belief of the limitless nature of science and human capacity to overcome death. The age of enlightenment philosophy created the separation of humanity from the natural order by the defining factor of rationality and agency, and the development of science. This contributed to the hyper medicalization of the human body, and in many regards, humanity, creating a false utopian vision of the cure, and scientific triumph over death. Thus, two definitions of humanity occur within the progression of science. One that is used to justify unethical experimentation through exclusion, and one that is ignored due to it not fitting into the scientific epistemological view, creating an imperfect view of reality.
The philosophical ideologies established by the philosophers during the enlightenment period, were necessary for the evolution of the sciences and the view of human nature in modernity and the contemporary era. Primarily, enlightenment thinkers

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