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The Politics of Pain MedicineA Rhetorical-Ontological Inquiry$
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S. Scott Graham

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226264059

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226264196.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 08 May 2021

Rarefactive and Constitutive Calibration

Rarefactive and Constitutive Calibration

(p.145) Chapter Five Rarefactive and Constitutive Calibration
The Politics of Pain Medicine

S. Scott Graham

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores scholarly and practical efforts to adjudicate among conflicting practices and ontologies regarding the contested diseases fibromyalgia and the sinus headache. In so doing, Chapter 5 introduces the notions of rarefactive and constitutive calibration—i.e., the mechanisms and practices whereby new/proposed disease ontologies are delegitimized or accepted. The chapter documents how powerful institutions of rarefaction (like medical subspecialties and professional organizations) are able to use domain-specific principles of rarefaction (e.g. specific etiology or validated diagnostic criteria) to conduct rarefactive and constitutive calibration. This chapter concludes by exploring how rarefactive and constitutive calibration are sibling activities in that the same principles of rarefaction and modes of calibration are used to both legitimize fibromyalgia and delegitimize the sinus headache.

Keywords:   calibration, fibromyalgia, Food and Drug Administration, Foucault, multiple ontologies, pharmaceuticals policy, principles of rarefaction, sinus headache, Toulmin, warrants

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