Paracetamol, poison, and polio: Why Boorse's account of function fails to distinguish health and disease
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (2):241-264 (2010)
Christopher Boorse's Bio Statistical Theory (BST) defines health as the absence of disease, and disease as the adverse departure from normal species functioning. This paper presents a two-pronged problem for this account. First I demonstrate that, in order to accurately account for dynamic physiological functions, Boorse's account of normal function needs to be modified to index functions against situations. I then demonstrate that if functions are indexed against situations, the BST can no longer account for diseases that result from specific environmental factors. The BST is impaled on either horn of this dilemma and therefore must be dismissed
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Citations of this work BETA
Daniel M. Hausman (2011). A Lockean Argument for Universal Access to Health Care. Social Philosophy and Policy 28 (2):166-191.
S. Andrew Schroeder (2013). Rethinking Health: Healthy or Healthier Than? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):131-159.
D. Benjamin Barros (2013). Negative Causation in Causal and Mechanistic Explanation. Synthese 190 (3):449-469.
D. M. Hausman (2011). Is an Overdose of Paracetamol Bad for One's Health? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (3):657-668.
Sean A. Valles (2012). Evolutionary Medicine at Twenty: Rethinking Adaptationism and Disease. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 27 (2):241-261.
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