Beyond Naturalism and Normativism: Reconceiving the 'Disease' Debate

Philosophical Papers 36 (3):343-370 (2007)
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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DOI 10.1080/05568640709485206
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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). Wright on Functions. Philosophical Review 85 (1):70-86.

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Citations of this work BETA
Nicholas Binney (2015). Nosology, Ontology and Promiscuous Realism. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 21 (3):391-397.

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