Articles | Volume 70, issue 3
Standard article
31 Aug 2015
Standard article |  | 31 Aug 2015

Praxis ist mehr als Praktiken – Warum moderne Ärzte und spirituelle Heiler im Prinzip das Gleiche tun

K. Geiselhart

Abstract. The pragmatist concept of praxis involves more than conventionalised practices. It also regards performative dynamics which derive from the fact that practices actually never are enacted in an exemplary manner. Each and every execution of a practice always bears the chance of success but also the risk of failure. Furthermore, the execution of a practice can be fractured in many ways. As situations are always unique, a variety of different dynamics can evolve, each of which might lead to further events which in turn might even result in an alteration of the convention of the practice. Due to such performative dynamics, individuals might experience diverse qualities of emotions, insights, and practical skills that are not inherent to the practices. Those individuals who are engaged in practices thus develop not only an understanding of conventionalised practices (unversalities) but also personal attitudes towards and opinions about these practices (singularities). The example of medical practices in Botswana can function as a role model to illustrate this notion of praxis. A juxtaposition of modern and traditional medicine shows that analysing the way how such fields of practice are epistemologically founded helps us to understand why they are incommensurable.