David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 24 (4):365 – 375 (1999)
Assessing the normative status of concepts of health and disease involves one in questions regarding the relationship between fact and value. Some have argued that Christopher Boorse's conception of health and disease lacks such a valuational element because it cannot account for types of harms which, while disvalued, do not have evolutionarily dysfunctional consequences. I take Boorse's account and incorporate some Humean-like sociobiological assumptions in order to respond to this challenge. The possession of moral sentiments, I argue, offers an evolutionary advantage (thus falling within Boorse's definition of normal functional abilities). However, this does not amount to emotivism: on the contrary, these sentiments can be the basis of a value system. This value structure introduces the concept of sympathizing with a fellow being's suffering as the basis of a normative dimension to disease. For example, it holds the disvalue of disease to lie in the fact that disease involves suffering and functional limitations.The naturalistic Humean type of account presented here thus jumps the normative-descriptive divide. When Boorse's account is extended to include social sentiments and behaviors, a conception of health emerges which is broader than Boorse's or Kass's, but narrower than the WHO's.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michele Loi, What Concept of Disease Should Politicians Use? Norman Daniels and the Unjustifiable Appeal of Naturalistic Analyses of Health.
József Kovács (1998). The Concept of Health and Disease. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 1 (1):31-39.
William E. Stempsey (2000). A Pathological View of Disease. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 21 (4):321-330.
George Khushf (1997). Why Bioethics Needs the Philosophy of Medicine: Some Implications of Reflection on Concepts of Health and Disease. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 18 (1-2).
Christopher Boorse (1977). Health as a Theoretical Concept. Philosophy of Science 44 (4):542-573.
Thomas Schramme (2007). The Significance of the Concept of Disease for Justice in Health Care. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (2):121-135.
Scott DeVito (2000). On the Value-Neutrality of the Concepts of Health and Disease: Unto the Breach Again. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 25 (5):539 – 567.
Anne Gammelgaard (2000). Evolutionary Biology and the Concept of Disease. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 3 (2):109-116.
Elselijn Kingma (2010). Paracetamol, Poison, and Polio: Why Boorse's Account of Function Fails to Distinguish Health and Disease. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (2):241-264.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads17 ( #103,238 of 1,102,060 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #192,049 of 1,102,060 )
How can I increase my downloads?