Beyond Naturalism and Normativism: Reconceiving the 'Disease' Debate

Philosophical Papers 36 (3):343-370 (2007)
Abstract
In considering the debate about the meaning of ‘disease’, the positions are generally presented as falling into two categories: naturalist, e.g., Boorse, and normativist, e.g., Engelhardt and many others. This division is too coarse, and obscures much of what is going on in this debate. I therefore propose that accounts of the meaning of ‘disease’ be assessed according to Hare’s (1997) taxonomy of evaluative terms. Such an analysis will allow us to better understand both individual positions and their inter-relationships. Most importantly, it will show that it is unlikely that there is a single unique disease-concept at issue. Rather, different authors are, for the most part, considering different concepts.
Keywords Disease  naturalism  normativism
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References found in this work BETA
Christopher Boorse (1997). A Rebuttal on Health. In James M. Humber & Robert F. Almeder (eds.), What is Disease? Humana Press. 1--134.
Christopher Boorse (1976). What a Theory of Mental Health Should Be. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 6 (1):61–84.
Christopher Boorse (1976). Wright on Functions. Philosophical Review 85 (1):70-86.

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