What concept of disease should politicians use? Norman Daniels and the unjustifiable appeal of naturalistic analyses of health

Abstract
Norman Daniels argues that health is important for justice because it affects the distribution of opportunities. He claims that a just society should guarantee fair opportunities by promoting and restoring the “normal functioning” of its citizens, that is, their health. The scope of citizens' mutual obligations with respect to health is defined by a reasonable agreement that, according to Daniels, should be based on the distinction between normal functioning and pathology drawn by the biomedical sciences. This paper deals with the question whether it is legitimate to ascribe the responsibility of defining this important moral boundary to the biomedical sciences, which Daniels regards as value neutral. Daniels appeals to Christopher Boorse's sophisticated bio-statistical theory (BST) to show the plausibility of a value-neutral distinction between normal functioning and pathology. Here I argue that a careful analysis of the concept of normal functioning, such as the one offered by the recent critique by Elselijn Kingma, shows that it depends from evaluative assumptions. This, I argue, implies that Daniels's theory must give up its naturalistic commitments. In the conclusion, the paper offers a detailed discussion and an objection to one of Daniels's arguments in favor of a moderate form of normativism that remains too close to Boorse's naturalism.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,612
External links
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

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-03-20

Total downloads

47 ( #34,086 of 1,098,412 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #285,057 of 1,098,412 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.