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Systems Science and Population Health$
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Abdulrahman M. El-Sayed and Sandro Galea

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190492397

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190492397.001.0001

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Reductionism at the Dawn of Population Health

Reductionism at the Dawn of Population Health

Chapter:
(p.9) 2 Reductionism at the Dawn of Population Health
Source:
Systems Science and Population Health
Author(s):

Kristin Heitman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190492397.003.0002

What we now think of as the field of population health emerged over the course of four and a half centuries. That transition from traditional understanding to modern science was not so much a triumph of rationality than an attempt to gain traction in a struggle with a host of complex problems, many of which are still with us. This chapter outlines the many shifting concerns and constraints through that transition. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the uses and challenges of complexity in current efforts to construct a better understanding of human health and disease at the population level.

Keywords:   history, philosophy, disease, healing, simplification

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