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Philosophical debate about disease includes examination of how to define disease and how to distinguish it from health, the relation of physiological disease and mental illness, and theoretical work on nosology, diagnosis, and epidemiology. Philosophy of medicine literature examines these topics in connection to debates about medicalisation, clinical reasoning, and conceptual change associated with social shifts and new technologies. Bio- and public health ethics literature has examined connections to a range of practical and ethical implications of these theoretical matters, as well as ethical issues connected to specific diseases.

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  1. Disease: The Phenomenological and Conceptual Center of Practical-Clinical Medicine.Per Sundström - 2001 - In Kay Toombs (ed.), Handbook of Phenomenology and Medicine. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 109--126.
  2. The Nature of Disease.Lawrie Reznek - 1987 - Routledge & Kegan Paul.
The Concept of Disease
  1. Disease and Value: A Rejection of the Value-Neutrality Thesis.George J. Agich - 1982 - Theoretical Medicine: An International Journal for the Philosophy and Methodology of Medical Research and Practice 4:27-41.
    RECENT PHILOSOPHICAL ATTENTION TO THE LANGUAGE OF DISEASE HAS FOCUSED PRIMARILY ON THE QUESTION OF ITS VALUE-NEUTRALITY OR NON-NEUTRALITY. PROPONENTS OF THE VALUE-NEUTRALITY THESIS SYMBOLICALLY COMBINE POLITICAL AND OTHER CRITICISMS OF MEDICINE IN AN ATTACK ON WHAT THEY SEE AS VALUE-INFECTED USES OF DISEASE LANGUAGE. THE PRESENT ESSAY ARGUES AGAINST TWO THESES ASSOCIATED WITH THIS VIEW: A METHODOLOGICAL THESIS WHICH TENDS TO DIVORCE THE ANALYSIS OF DISEASE LANGUAGE FROM THE CONTEXT OF THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE AND A SUBSTANTIVE THESIS WHICH (...)
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  2. The Perils of Powell: In Search of a Factual Foundation for the Disease Concept of Alcoholism.Herbert Fingarette - 1970 - Harvard Law Review 83:793-812.
    THIS ARTICLE IS AN ANALYSIS OF THE CURRENT LEGAL REASONING AND LAW AS TO THE CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY OF ALCOHOLICS, AND AN ANALYSIS OF THE MEDICAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND. THE LEGAL ARGUMENTS TO ABSOLVE THE ALCOHOLIC OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR CRIMINAL ACTS WHILE DRUNK ARE SHOWN TO REST ON UNSATISFACTORY ARGUMENT AND FUNDAMENTALLY FALSE FACTUAL ASSUMPTIONS.
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  3. On the Relevance and Importance of the Notion of Disease.Lennart Nordenfelt - 1993 - Theoretical Medicine: An International Journal for the Philosophy and Methodology of Medical Research and Practice 14 (1):15-26.
    This paper constitutes a defence of the basic philosophical enterprise of characterising concepts such as 'disease' and 'health', as well as other medical concepts. I argue that these concepts play important roles, not only in medical, but also in other scientific and social contexts. In particular, medical decisions about health and diseasehood have important ethical, social and economic consequences. The role played is, however, not always a rational one. But the greater is the need for a reconstruction of this network (...)
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  4. Why Bioethics Needs the Philosophy of Medicine: Some Implications of Reflection on Concepts of Health and Disease.George Khushf - 1997 - Theoretical Medicine: An International Journal for the Philosophy and Methodology of Medical Research and Practice 18 (1-2):145-163.
    Germund Hesslow has argued that concepts of health and disease serve no important scientific, clinical, or ethical function. However, this conclusion depends upon the particular concept of disease he espouses; namely, on Boorse's functional notion. The fact/value split embodied in the functional notion of disease leads to a sharp split between the "science" of medicine and bioethics, making the philosophy of medicine irrelevant for both. By placing this disease concept in the broader context of medical history. I shall show self-contradictory (...)
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  5. Concepts of Health and Disease: Comments on Chapter 5 of Engelhardt's The Foundations of Bioethics, 2nd Edition.James G. Lennox - 1997 - Reason Papers: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Normative Studies 22:75-84.
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  6. Nosology and Causal Necessity; The Relation Between Defining a Disease and Discovering Its Necessary Cause.Pieter F. De Vries Robbé & Frank J. Flier - 1999 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics: Philosophy of Medical Research and Practice 20 (6):577-588.
    The problem of disease definition is related to the problem of proving that a certain agent is the necessary cause of a certain disease. Natural kind terms like 'rheumatoid arthritis' and 'AIDS' refer to essences which are discoverable rather then predeterminate. No statement about such diseases is a priori necessarily true.
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  7. Principles Behind Definitions of Diseases--A Criticism of the Principle of Disease Mechanism and the Development of a Pragmatic Alternative.Morten Severinsen - 2001 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics: Philosophy of Medical Research and Practice 22 (4):319-336.
    Many philosophers and medical scientists assume that disease categories or entities used to classify concrete cases of disease are often defined by disease mechanisms or causal processes. Others suggest that diseases should always be defined in this manner. This paper discusses these standpoints critically and concludes that they are untenable, not only when 'disease mechanism' refers to an objective mechanism, but also when 'mechanism' refers to a pragmatically demarcated part of the total "objective" causal structure of diseases. As an alternative (...)
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  8. Molecular Medicine and Concepts of Disease: The Ethical Value of a Conceptual Analysis of Emerging Biomedical Technologies.Marianne Boenink - 2010 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 13 (1):11-23.
    Although it is now generally acknowledged that new biomedical technologies often produce new definitions and sometimes even new concepts of disease, this observation is rarely used in research that anticipates potential ethical issues in emerging technologies. This article argues that it is useful to start with an analysis of implied concepts of disease when anticipating ethical issues of biomedical technologies. It shows, moreover, that it is possible to do so at an early stage, i.e., when a technology is only just (...)
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  9. Why Mental Disorders Are Just Mental Dysfunctions (and Nothing More): Some Darwinian Arguments.Andreas De Block - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (3):338-346.
    Mental disorders are often thought to be harmful dysfunctions. Jerome Wakefield has argued that such dysfunctions should be understood as failures of naturally selected functions. This suggests that evolutionary biology and other Darwinian disciplines hold important information for anyone working on answering the philosophical question, "What is a mental disorder?". In this article, the author argues that Darwinian theory is not only relevant to the understanding of the disrupted functions, but it also sheds light on the disruption itself, as well (...)
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  10. Calculable People? Standardising Assessment Guidelines for Alzheimer's Disease in 1980s Britain.Duncan Wilson - 2017 - Medical History: An International Journal for the History of Medicine and Related Sciences 61 (4):500-524.
    This article shows how funding research on Alzheimer's disease became a priority for the British Medical Research Council in the late 1970s and 1980s, thanks to work that isolated new pathological and biochemical markers, and showed that the disease affected a significant proportion of the elderly population. In contrast to histories that focus on the emergence of new and competing theories of disease causation in this period, I argue that concerns over the use of different assessment methods ensured the MRC's (...)
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  11. Review Of: Concepts of Health and Disease: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. [REVIEW]J. G. Scadding - 1982 - Journal of Medical Ethics: The Journal of the Institute of Medical Ethics 8:157.
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  12. Review Of: Concepts of Health and Disease: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. [REVIEW]Cheshire Calhoun - 1983 - Theoretical Medicine: An International Journal for the Philosophy and Methodology of Medical Research and Practice 4:329-332.
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  13. On the Difficulty of Defining Disease: A Darwinian Perspective.Randolph M. Nesse - 2001 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 4 (1):37-46.
    An evolutionary view of the origins of the body and its vulnerabilities that result in disease provides an objective foundation for recognizing pathology. Our social definition of disease will remain contentious, however, because values vary, and because the label "disease" changes judgments about the moral status of people with various conditions, and their rights to medical and social resources.
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  14. Simplified Models of the Relationship Between Health and Disease.Bjørn Hofmann - 2005 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics: Philosophy of Medical Research and Practice 26 (5):355-377.
    This article investigates health care professionals' concepts of health and disease and the relationship between them. In order to do so, four different models are described and analyzed: the ideal model, the holistic model, the medical model and the disjunctive model. The analysis reveals that each model has its pros and cons, and that health care professionals appear to apply more than one models. Furthermore, the models and the way health care professionals' use them may be helpful for scholars in (...)
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  15. Review Of: Health, Disease, and Illness: Concept of Medicine. [REVIEW]Lennart Nordenfelt - 2005 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 8 (1):125-126.
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  16. Patologizzare la Normalità: L'Incapacità Della Psichiatria di Individuare I Falsi Positivi Nelle Diagnosi Dei Disturbi Mentali.Jerome C. Wakefield - 2010 - Psicoterapia E Scienze Umane 44 (3):295-314.
    In psychiatry's transformation from an asylum-based to a community-oriented profession, false positive diagnoses became a major challenge to the validity of the diagnostic system. The shift to descriptive, symptom-based operationalized diagnostic criteria of DSM-III further exacerbated this difficulty because of the contextually based nature of the distinction between normal distress and mental disorder. Through selected examples, the degree of success with which DSM-III and DSM-IV have attended to the challenge of avoiding false positive diagnoses is examined. Conceptual analysis of selected (...)
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  17. The Brain Disease Concept in Addiction: A Cause for Ambivalence, Not Concern.Kylie Morphett & Carla Meurk - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience 4 (3):48-50.
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  18. Disease as a Theoretical Concept: The Case of HPV-It Is.Alex Broadbent - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 48:250-257.
    If there is any value in the idea that disease is something other than the mere absence of health then that value must lie in the way that diseases are classified. This paper offers further development of a view advanced previously, the 'contrastive model' of disease: it develops the account to handle asymptomatic disease ; and in doing so it relates the model to a broadly biostatistical view of health. The developments are prompted by considering cancers featuring viruses as prominent (...)
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  19. Towards a socially constructed and objective concept of mental disorder.Anne-Marie Gagné-Julien - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    In this paper, I argue for a new way to understand the integration of facts and values in the concept of mental disorder that has the potential to avoid the flaws of previous hybrid approaches. I import conceptual tools from the account of procedural objectivity defended by Helen Longino to resolve the controversy over the definition of mental disorder. My argument is threefold: I first sketch the history of the debate opposing objectivists and constructivists and focus on the criticisms that (...)
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  20. Mental Disorder as Both Natural and Normative: Developing the Normative Dimension of the 3e Conceptual Framework for Psychopathology.Kristopher Nielsen & Tony Ward - 2020 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 40 (2):107-123.
  21. Escaping the Conceptual Analysis Straightjacket: Pathological Mechanisms and Canguilhem’s Biological Philosophy.Jonathan Sholl - 2015 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 58 (4):395-418.
    This essay discusses four key criticisms recently leveled against the main attempts to use conceptual analysis to understand health and disease. First, it examines the weaknesses of these attempts and suggests a better way to proceed. Next, it briefly discusses another disease debate concerning pathological mechanisms and suggests that this approach could be more fruitful than that of conceptual analysis. The final section demonstrates how Georges Canguilhem's biological philosophy of disease avoids some of the problems associated with conceptual analysis, and (...)
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  22. System and Disease: On the Fundamental Problem of Theoretical Pathology.Peter Hucklenbroich - 1984 - Theoretical Medicine: An International Journal for the Philosophy and Methodology of Medical Research and Practice 5:307-324.
    THE ARTICLE GIVES A SKETCH OF A SYSTEMS VIEW IN THEORETICAL PATHOLOGY, I.E., THE MEDICAL THEORY OF ORGANISMS AND THEIR HEALTH DISEASES. THREE MAIN LEVELS OF SYSTEMS ARE DISTINGUISHED WHICH ARE OF RELEVANCE: OBJECTIVE SYSTEMS, SUBJECTIVE SYSTEMS, AND REFLEXIVE SYSTEMS. THIS DISTINCTION IS ILLUSTRATED BY THE POSSIBILITIES OF COMPUTER SYSTEMS. CONSEQUENCES FOR THE CONCEPTIONS OF DISEASE, ETIOLOGY, PATHOGENESIS, AND THEIR CRITERIA ARE DISCUSSED.
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  23. Defining 'Disease': Classification Must Be Distinguished From Evaluation.P. D. Toon - 1981 - Journal of Medical Ethics: The Journal of the Institute of Medical Ethics 7:197-201.
    THE USE OF THE TERM "DISEASE" IS DISCUSSED. SOME DIFFICULTIES WITH A DEFINITION PROPOSED BY CAMPBELL, SCADDING AND ROBERTS ARE CONSIDERED AND REVISED DEFINITIONS SUGGESTED. A DISTINCTION IS DRAWN BETWEEN DISEASEDNESS, CONTRASTED WITH HEALTH AND WITH OTHER SORTS OF PROBLEMS AND NOSOLOGICAL CATEGORIES USED TO DISTINGUISH CONDITIONS WITH DIFFERENT TREATMENTS AND PROGNOSES; AND ASPECTS OF MEDICAL DECISIONS CALLING FOR ETHICAL AND POLITICAL JUDGMENTS.
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  24. Praxis Makes Perfect: Illness as a Bridge Between Biological Concepts of Disease and Social Conceptions of Health.K. W. M. Fulford - 1993 - Theoretical Medicine: An International Journal for the Philosophy and Methodology of Medical Research and Practice 14 (4):305-320.
    Analyses of biological concepts of disease and social conceptions of health indicate that they are structurally interdependent. This in turn suggests the need for a bridge theory of illness. The main features of such a theory are an emphasis on the logical properties of value terms, close attention to the features of the experience of illness, and an analysis of this experience as "action failure", drawing directly on the internal structure of action. The practical applications of this theory are outlined (...)
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  25. Medical Informatics and the Concept of Disease.Kenneth F. Schaffner - 2000 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics: Philosophy of Medical Research and Practice 21 (1):85-101.
    This paper attempts to address the general question whether information technologies, as applied in the area of medicine and health care, have or are likely to change fundamental concepts regarding disease and health. After a short excursion into the domain of medical informatics I provide a brief overview of some of the current theories of what a disease is from a more philosophical perspective, i.e., the "value free" and "value laden" view of disease. Next, I consider at some length, whether (...)
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  26. A Pathological View of Disease.William E. Stempsey - 2000 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics: Philosophy of Medical Research and Practice 21 (4):321-330.
    This paper is a response to Christopher Boorse's recent defense of his Biostatistical Theory of health and disease. Boorse maintains that his concept of theoretical health and disease reflects the "considered usage of pathologists." I argue that pathologists do not use "disease" in the purely theoretical way that is required by the BST. Pathology does not draw a sharp distinction between theoretical and practical aspects of medicine.
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  27. How Cruel Is Disease?Antonio Casado da Rocha - 2005 - Appraisal: A Journal of Constructive and Post-Critical Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies 5 (3):141-143.
    There are many references to the cruelty of disease in the philosophical traditions of the West. This article seeks to explore in what ways disease could be meaningfully said to be cruel. By looking at recent definitions of disease, and refining the World Health Organisation's definition of health, the article briefly discusses the cruelty of disease from the professional perspective, the cruelty of illness from the personal perspective, and the cruelty of sickness from the social perspective. This multidimensional concept of (...)
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  28. Complexity of the Concept of Disease As Shown Through Rival Theoretical Frameworks.Bjørn Hofmann - 2001 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics: Philosophy of Medical Research and Practice 22 (3):211-236.
    The concept of disease has been the subject of a vast, vivid and versatile debate. Categories, such as "realist", "nominalist", "ontologist", "physiologist", "normativist" and "descriptivist", have been applied to classify disease concepts. These categories refer to underlying theoretical frameworks of the debate. The objective of this review is to analyze these frameworks. It is argued that the categories applied in the debate refer to profound philosophical issues, and that the complexity of the debate reflects the complexity of the concept itself: (...)
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  29. Self-Healing Forces and Concepts of Health and Disease: A Historical Discourse.Brigitte Lohff - 2001 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics: Philosophy of Medical Research and Practice 22 (6):543-564.
    The phenomenon of self-healing forces has again and again challenged doctors in the different historical periods of medical science. They relied on effects of self-healing forces in diagnosis and therapy. They also tried to explain these effects based on the current model of organism. The understanding of this phenomenon has always influenced the understanding of therapy and played a role in defining the concept of health and disease. In the 17th and 18th century the idea of self-healing force was interpreted (...)
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  30. The Concept of Disease in Palliative Medicine.Joachim Widder & Monika Glawischnig-Goschnik - 2002 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 5 (2):191-197.
    The paper first defines palliative treatment and distinguishes it from symptomatic treatment. Then, the palliative situation is delineated as inseparably linked to the finitude of human life. Given the objectives of palliative treatment--responding to symptoms, damage to the patients' self-image, and the proximity of death--a subjective concept of disease is described, that is regarded as the focus of palliative treatment. The essence of the concept of disease is analyzed as the patient's experience with a tendency of reduction of her or (...)
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  31. Can Evidence-Based Medicine Implicitly Rely on Current Concepts of Disease or Does It Have to Develop Its Own Definition?Andreas Gerber - 2007 - Journal of Medical Ethics: The Journal of the Institute of Medical Ethics 33 (7):394-399.
    Decisions in healthcare are made against the background of cultural and philosophical definitions of disease, sickness and illness. These concepts or definitions affect both health policy and research, as well as individual encounters between patients and physicians. It is therefore necessary for evidence-based medicine to consider whether any of the definitions underlying research prior to the hierarchisation of knowledge are indeed compatible with its own epistemological principles.
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  32. The Concept of Disease -- Vague, Complex, or Just Indefinable?Bjørn Hofmann - 2010 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 13 (1):3-10.
    The long ongoing and partly heated debate on the concept of disease has not led to any consensus on the status of this apparently essential concept for modern health care. The arguments range from claims that the disease concept is vague, slippery, elusive, or complex, and to statements that the concept is indefinable and unnecessary. The unsettled status of the concept of disease is challenging not only to health care where diagnosing, treating, and curing disease are core aims, but also (...)
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  33. Medical Explanations and Lay Conceptions of Disease and Illness in Doctor-Patient Interaction.Halvor Nordby - 2008 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics: Philosophy of Medical Research and Practice 29 (6):357-370.
    Hilary Putnam's influential analysis of the 'division of linguistic labour' has a striking application in the area of doctor-patient interaction: patients typically think of themselves as consumers of technical medical terms in the sense that they normally defer to health professionals' explanations of meaning. It is at the same time well documented that patients tend to think they are entitled to understand lay health terms like 'sickness' and 'illness' in ways that do not necessarily correspond to health professionals' understanding. Drawing (...)
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  34. Epidemiology and the Bio-Statistical Theory of Disease: A Challenging Perspective.Élodie Giroux - 2015 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics: Philosophy of Medical Research and Practice 36 (3):175-195.
    Christopher Boorse's biostatistical theory of health and disease argues that the central discipline on which theoretical medicine relies is physiology. His theory has been much discussed but little has been said about its focus on physiology or, conversely, about the role that other biomedical disciplines may play in establishing a theoretical concept of health. Since at least the 1950s, epidemiology has gained in strength and legitimacy as an independent medical science that contributes to our knowledge of health and disease. Indeed, (...)
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  35. On the Medical Art: Health and Disease Between Metaphysics, Epistemology and Medicine.Vladimir Milisavljevic & Eva Kamerer - 2016 - Theoria: Casopis Filozofskog Drustva Srbije 59 (3):5-22.
    The article treats one of the major issues of contemporary philosophy of medicine -- the difficulty of giving a purely objective definition of health and disease -- and examines its implications for the question of the epistemological status of medicine: is it possible to define medicine as a science, or should we be contented with a more modest, traditional view that medicine is simply the art of healing? In the first part of the article, this problem is shown to be (...)
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  36. Aging as Disease.Gunnar Winter - 2015 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 18 (2):237-243.
    In this paper, I will argue that ageing can be construed as disease. First, the concept of disease is discussed, where the distinction is made between two lines of thought, an objectivist and a subjectivist one. After determining the disease conception to be used throughout the argument, it is proposed that senescence could be seen as disease. Three common counterarguments are discussed, none of which appears strong enough to effectively counter the advocated view. In the third section, two potential implications (...)
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  37. The Overdiagnosis of What? On the Relationship Between the Concepts of Overdiagnosis, Disease, and Diagnosis.Bjørn Hofmann - 2017 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 20 (4):453-464.
    Overdiagnosis and disease are related concepts. Widened conceptions of disease increase overdiagnosis and vice versa. This is partly because there is a close and complex relationship between disease and overdiagnosis. In order to address the problems with overdiagnosis, we may benefit from a closer understanding this relationship. Accordingly, the objective of this article is to elucidate the relationship between disease and overdiagnosis. To do so, the article starts with scrutinizing how overdiagnosis can explain the expansion of the concept of disease. (...)
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  38. Defining Disease in the Context of Overdiagnosis.Mary Jean Walker & Wendy Rogers - 2017 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 20 (2):269-280.
    Recently, concerns have been raised about the phenomenon of 'overdiagnosis', the diagnosis of a condition that is not causing harm, and will not come to cause harm. Along with practical, ethical, and scientific questions, overdiagnosis raises questions about our concept of disease. In this paper, we analyse overdiagnosis as an epistemic problem and show how it challenges many existing accounts of disease. In particular, it raises questions about conceptual links drawn between disease and dysfunction, harm, and risk. We argue that (...)
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  39. Rehabilitating Disease: Function, Value, and Objectivity in Medicine.Russell Powell & Eric Scarfee - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1168-1178.
    The concept of disease remains hotly contested. In light of problems with existing accounts, some theorists argue that the disease concept ought to be eliminated. We answer this skeptical challenge by reframing the discussion in terms of the role that the disease concept plays in the complex network of health-care institutions in which it is deployed. We argue that while prevailing accounts do not suffer from the particular defects that critics have identified, they do suffer from other deficits, and this (...)
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  40. Do We Need a Concept of Disease?Germund Hesslow - 1993 - Theoretical Medicine: An International Journal for the Philosophy and Methodology of Medical Research and Practice 14 (1):1-14.
    The terms "health", "disease" and "illness" are frequently used in clinical medicine. This has misled philosophers into believing that these concepts are important for clinical thinking and decision making. For instance, it is held that decisions about whether or not to treat someone or whether to relieve someone of moral responsibility depend on whether the person has a disease. In this paper it is argued that the crucial role of the 'disease' concept is illusory. The health/disease distinction is irrelevant for (...)
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  41. Evolutionary Biology and the Concept of Disease.Anne Gammelgaard - 2000 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 3 (2):109-116.
    This paper introduces the evolutionary approach to health and disease in an attempt to illuminate the premises and the framework of Darwinian medicine. My primary aim is to analyze to what extent evolutionary theory provides for a biological definition of the concept of disease. This analysis reveals some important differences between functional explanations in the field of evolutionary biology and functional explanations in the field of medicine. Moreover, I shall argue that the biological functions relevant to the health of an (...)
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  42. The Concept of Health and Disease.József Kovács - 1998 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 1 (1):31-39.
    Examining the naturalist and normativist concepts of health and disease this article starts with analyzing the view of C. Boorse. It rejects Boorse's account of health as species-typical functioning, giving a critique of his view based on evolutionary theory of contemporary biology. Then it gives a short overview of the normativist theories of health, which can be objectivist and subjectivist theories. Rejecting the objectivist theories as philosophically untenable, it turns to the subjectivist theories of Gert and Culver, and to the (...)
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  43. The Social Concept of Disease.Juha Räikkä - 1996 - Theoretical Medicine: An International Journal for the Philosophy and Methodology of Medical Research and Practice 17 (4):353-361.
    In the discussion of such social questions as "how should alcoholics be treated by society?" and "what kind of people are responsible in the face of the law?", is "disease" a value-free or value-laden notion, a natural or a normative one? It seems, for example, that by the utterance 'alcoholism should be classified as a disease' we mean something like the following: the condition called alcoholism is similar in morally relevant respects to conditions that we uncontroversially label diseases and, therefore, (...)
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  44. 'Trouble From Within': Allergy, Autoimmunity, and Pathology in the First Half of the Twentieth Century.Ohad Parnes - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 34 (3):425-454.
    Traditionally, autoimmune disease has been considered to be a case of false recognition; the immune system mistakenly identifies 'self' tissues as foreign, attacking them thus causing damage and malady. Accordingly, the history of autoimmunity is usually told as part of the history of immunology, that is, of theories and experiments relating to the ability of the immune system to discriminate between self and nonself. This paper challenges this view, claiming that the emergence of the notion of autoimmunity in the 1950s (...)
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  45. Vice, Mental Disorder, and the Role of Underlying Pathological Processes.Nancy Nyquist Potter & Peter Zachar - 2008 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 15 (1):27-29.
  46. Defining 'Health' and 'Disease'.Marc Ereshefsky - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (3):221-227.
    How should we define 'health' and 'disease'? There are three main positions in the literature. Naturalists desire value-free definitions based on scientific theories. Normativists believe that our uses of 'health' and 'disease' reflect value judgments. Hybrid theorists offer definitions containing both normativist and naturalist elements. This paper discusses the problems with these views and offers an alternative approach to the debate over 'health' and 'disease'. Instead of trying to find the correct definitions of 'health' and 'disease' we should explicitly talk (...)
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  47. Merleau-Ponty's Sexual Schema and the Sexual Component Of Body Integrity Identity Disorder.Helena Preester - 2013 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 16 (2):171-184.
    Body Integrity Identity Disorder, formerly also known as apotemnophilia is characterized by a desire for amputation of a healthy limb and is claimed to straddle or to even blur the boundary between psychiatry and neurology. The neurological line of approach, however, is a recent one, and is accompanied or preceded by psychodynamical, behavioural, philosophical, and psychiatric approaches and hypotheses. Next to its confusing history in which the disorder itself has no fixed identity and could not be classified under a specific (...)
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  48. Psychiatry's New Manual (DSM-5): Ethical and Conceptual Dimensions.J. S. Blumenthal-Barby - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics: The Journal of the Institute of Medical Ethics 40 (8):531-536.
    The introduction of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in May 2013 is being hailed as the biggest event in psychiatry in the last 10 years. In this paper I examine three important issues that arise from the new manual: Expanding nosology: Psychiatry has again broadened its nosology to include human experiences not previously under its purview. Consequence-based ethical concerns about this expansion are addressed, along with conceptual concerns about a confusion of "construct validity" and "conceptual validity" and (...)
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