David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (1):79-89 (2012)
In this paper I discuss a central objection against diseases being natural kinds—namely, that diseases are processes or transitions and hence they should not be conceptualized in the ‘substantish’ framework of natural kinds. I indicate that the objection hinges on conceiving disease kinds as phase kinds, in contrast to the non-phase, natural kinds of the exact sciences. I focus on somatic diseases and argue, via a representative comparison, that if disease kinds are phase kinds, then exact science kinds are phase kinds as well. On the other hand, if exact science kinds are non-phase kinds, then disease kinds are non-phase kinds as well. This objection should thus be rejected, under a certain caveat, though. If natural kind membership has an influence over the diachronic identity of kind members, then it is possible, in principle, to draw the phase/non-phase distinction such that an ‘ontological gap’ lies between medical kinds and exact science kinds. I show further that this caveat is unavoidable even in relation to substantive universals and ‘essential’ properties—two controversial, strong features that were traditionally associated to natural kinds.
|Keywords||Natural kinds Processes Medical kinds Phase kinds Phases Substantial changes Jonathan Lowe|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Richard Boyd (1999). Homeostasis, Species, and Higher Taxa. In R. A. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. Mit Press. 141-85.
Rachel Cooper, Classifying Madness: A Philosophical Examination of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Judith Crane (2003). Locke's Theory of Classification. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 11 (2):249 – 259.
Robert D.'Amico (1995). Is Disease a Natural Kind? Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (5):551-569.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Stefan Dragulinescu (2010). Diseases as Natural Kinds. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (5):347-369.
Neil E. Williams (2011). Arthritis and Nature's Joints. In Michael O'Rourke, Joseph Keim Campbell & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints. Mit Press.
Thomas Reydon (2009). How to Fix Kind Membership: A Problem for Hpc Theory and a Solution. Philosophy of Science 76 (5):724-736.
Daniel P. Sulmasy (2005). “Diseases and Natural Kinds”. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (6):487-513.
Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2015). Three Kinds of Social Kinds. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (1):96-112.
Rachel Cooper (2004). Why Hacking is Wrong About Human Kinds. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):73-85.
Marzia Soavi (2009). Antirealism and Artefact Kinds. Techne 13 (2):93-107.
Ingo Brigandt (2009). Natural Kinds in Evolution and Systematics: Metaphysical and Epistemological Considerations. Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):77-97.
John S. Wilkins (2013). Biological Essentialism and the Tidal Change of Natural Kinds. Science and Education 22 (2):221-240.
Thomas A. C. Reydon (2009). Do the Life Sciences Need Natural Kinds? Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):167-190.
Ronald De Sousa (1984). The Natural Shiftiness of Natural Kinds. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 14 (4):561 - 580.
Nick Haslam (2002). Kinds of Kinds: A Conceptual Taxonomy of Psychiatric Categories. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 9 (3):203-217.
Gordon McOuat (2001). From Cutting Nature at its Joints to Measuring It: New Kinds and New Kinds of People in Biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 32 (4):613-645.
Added to index2012-01-17
Total downloads19 ( #104,255 of 1,692,196 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #78,120 of 1,692,196 )
How can I increase my downloads?