Purdue University Graduate School
2021.7.20 van Nood Final.pdf (1.88 MB)

Gestures of Value: A moral recounting of psychosomatic response

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posted on 2021-07-20, 18:13 authored by Ryan R van NoodRyan R van Nood
This dissertation redefines the placebo effect in light of new empirical observations and certain strands of philosophical ethics.
Chapter 1 critically reviews available definitions of placebo responsiveness against their abilities to hang together the diversity of empirical observations and emerging research interests. Projecting Wittgenstein's example of a child learning pain language, Chapter 2 redefines the phenomenon as a particular kind of experience of meaning and reconsiders clinical empathy in terms of the loss and recovery of language that belongs to illness experience and diagnosis. Chapter 3 broadens the account of psychosomatic responsiveness from the experience of meaning to the experience of values, utilising Canguilhem's definition of health and Nietzsche's genealogical account of the health of values. Chapter 4 explores the foregoing by recounting how Wittgenstein's moral philosophy might hold together the traditional ethical and bioethical question of what makes life worth living with psychosomatic responsiveness.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Philosophy

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dan Frank

Additional Committee Member 2

Dana Tulodziecki

Additional Committee Member 3

Dan Smith

Additional Committee Member 4

Frank Chouraqui