Diseases as natural kinds

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (5):347-369 (2010)
Abstract
In this paper, I focus on life-threatening medical conditions and argue that from the point of view of natural properties, induction(s), and participation in laws, at least some of the ill organisms dealt with in somatic medicine form natural kinds in the same sense in which the kinds in the exact sciences are thought of as natural. By way of comparing two ‘divisions of nature’, viz., a ‘classical’ exact science kind (gold) and a kind of disease (Graves disease), I show that there is no justifiable ‘ontological gap’ between disease kinds and exact sciences kinds. We have instead a difference of degree
Keywords Natural kinds  Medical kinds  Special sciences  Causation  Induction  Natural law
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    D. M. Armstrong (1993). A World of States of Affairs. Philosophical Perspectives 7:429-440.

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