Book Club: Natural Causes discussion thread #3

Welcome back!

Next week, we’ll read chapters 9 and 10. This week, chapters 7 and 8 of Natural Causes by Barbara Ehrenreich.

Stuff to talk about:

  • The chapter on holism was pretty interesting. Ehrenreich comes forward with a really compelling point, how bodily parts are said to have “functions” and “responsibilities” but actually that’s an incredibly odd way to describe biology, with an assignment of intent. What’s your view?

  • Ehrenreich takes down the implication that the body functions in harmony, and “Disease and death are disappointing aberrations.” This is put down fairly concisely with the idea of autoimmune diseases, and the fact that most cancers are not traceable to a carcinogen. What’s your view? Are we a confederacy of warring tissues, or a concise whole?

  • Now that she points it out? The military language around the immune system is, I must concede, a bit much, right. That’s not a question precisely but yeah, the metaphors are pretty heavy.

Comment below! Have a great weekend!