I’m sometimes asked what the ‘Critical’ in Critical Physiotherapy Network refers to. It’s a good question, because there’s more than one meaning for the term, and we are using it in quite a specific sense here.
So here are some different meanings for the word critical, only some of which apply to the Network.
- Critical in the sense of expressing disapproval or negative judgement, as in; ‘I don’t like that’ or ‘I think that’s wrong’
- Critical as in ‘critical review’; the sort of thing that a lot of students are trained to do these days; to review a body of literature and say whether it’s any good or not
- Critical care: that required by acutely ill people
- Critical in the sense of being desperately needed, vital, or at the point of crisis
- As in the mathematics meaning a point of transition from one state to another; an axis or turning point
- Critical as in Critical Theory – a branch of sociology concerned with tackling asymmetries of power in society and emancipating voices of marginalised people
- Or postmodern criticism; the skepticism towards metanarratives like ‘science’, ‘biomedicine’, ‘religion’, ‘logic’ and ‘reason’
Of these, I would say the only one that the CPN does not directly focus on is No.3. All of the others are relevant in different ways to the interests and activities of Network members.
Some in the Network relate strongly to No. 6, others to N0. 4. Myself, I’ve been a long-time, card-carrying postmodernist, so I definitely favour No. 7.
But the Network is all about diversity and inclusiveness, and we’re open to all kinds of beliefs and ideas.
What’s crucial, though, is that people embrace the idea of criticality, in (nearly) all its forms.