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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. No, Pregnancy is Not a Disease.Nicholas Colgrove & Daniel Rodger - 2024 - Journal of Medical Ethics (Online first):1-3.
    Anna Smajdor and Joona Räsänen argue that we have good reason to classify pregnancy as a disease. They discuss five accounts of disease and argue that each account either implies that pregnancy is a disease or, if it does not, it faces problems. This strategy allows Smajdor and Räsänen to avoid articulating their own account of disease. Consequently, they cannot establish that pregnancy is a disease, only that plausible accounts of disease suggest this. Some readers will dismiss Smajdor and Räsänen’s (...)
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  2. Science, Medicine, and the Aims of Inquiry: A Philosophical Analysis.Somogy Varga - 2024 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
    Amid criticism of medicine's scientific rigor and patient care, this book offers a philosophical examination of the nature and aims of medicine, and new perspectives on how these challenges can be addressed. It offers input for rethinking the agenda of medical research, healthcare delivery, and the education of healthcare personnel.
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  3. Malaria Diagnosis and the Plasmodium Life Cycle: The BFO Perspective.Werner Ceusters & Barry Smith - 2010 - In Werner Ceusters & Barry Smith (eds.), Interdisciplinary Ontology. Proceedings of the Third Interdisciplinary Ontology Meeting. Tokyo: Keio University Press.
    Definitive diagnosis of malaria requires the demonstration through laboratory tests of the presence within the patient of malaria parasites or their components. Since malaria parasites can be present even in the absence of malaria manifestations, and since symptoms of malaria can be manifested even in the absence of malaria parasites, malaria diagnosis raises important issues for the adequate understanding of disease, etiology and diagnosis. One approach to the resolution of these issues adopts a realist view, according to which the needed (...)
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  4. Rationality and sanity.Lisa Bortolotti - 2012 - In Rationality and sanity: The role of rationality judgments in understanding psychiatric disorders. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Concept of Disease
  1. Brain Disorders, Dysfunctions, and Natural Selection: Commentary on Jefferson.Justin Garson - 2024 - Philosophical Psychology 37 (3):558-569.
    I argue that despite the merits of Jefferson’s account of a brain disorder, which are many, the notion of function she deploys is unsuitable to the overall goals of that account. In particular, Jefferson accepts Cummins’ causal role theory of function and dysfunction. As the causal role view, in its standard elaborations, is wedded to human interests, goals, and values, it cannot serve as a value-neutral anchor for her hybrid “harm-dysfunction” account of disorder. I argue that the selected effects theory, (...)
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  2. Mental disorders in entangled brains.Awais Aftab - 2024 - Philosophical Psychology 37 (3):583-595.
    In this commentary on Anneli Jefferson’s book “Are Mental Disorders Brain Disorders?,” I offer an overview of her central thesis, and then propose my own modified account of when we are justified in calling mental disorders as “brain disorders.” In doing so, I draw on recent work in neuroscience that understands the relationship between brain and behavior in complex, dynamic, and computational terms. In particular, I disagree with Jefferson’s criterion of sufficiency, that a particular brain process should always realize a (...)
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  3. Disease: An Ill-Founded Concept at Odds with the Principle of Patient-Centred Medicine.Arandjelovic Ognjen - forthcoming - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.
    Background: Despite the at least decades long record of philosophical recognition and interest, the intricacy of the deceptively familiar appearing concepts of ‘disease’, ‘disorder’, ‘disability’, etc., has only recently begun showing itself with clarity in the popular discourse wherein its newly emerging prominence stems from the liberties and restrictions contingent upon it. Whether a person is deemed to be afflicted by a disease or a disorder governs their ability to access health care, be it free at the point of use (...)
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  4. Recognizing Social Subjects: Gender, Disability and Social Standing.Filipa Melo Lopes - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
    Gender seems to be everywhere in the norms governing our social world: from how to be a good friend and how to walk, to children’s clothes. It is not surprising then that a difficulty in identifying someone’s gender is often a source of discomfort and even anxiety. Numerous theorists, including Judith Butler and Charlotte Witt, have noted that gender is unlike other important social differences, such as professional occupation or religious affiliation. It has a special centrality, ubiquity and importance in (...)
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  5. An account of medical treatment, with a preliminary account of medical conditions.Steven Tresker - 2023 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 44 (6):607-633.
    In this article, I present a philosophical account of medical treatment. In support of this account, I offer a suggestive account of medical conditions. The account of medical treatment uses three desiderata to demarcate treatment from non-treatment. Namely, a treatment should: (1) be describable by features that enable it to be standardized and characterized as a discrete intervention, (2) target a specific medical condition, and (3) have the possibility of being effective. The account of medical conditions underlies the second desideratum (...)
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  6. The biopsychosocial model: Its use and abuse.Alex Roberts - 2023 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 26 (3):367-384.
    The biopsychosocial model (BPSM) is increasingly influential in medical research and practice. Several philosophers and scholars of health have criticized the BPSM for lacking meaningful scientific content. This article extends those critiques by showing how the BPSM’s epistemic weaknesses have led to certain problems in medical discourse. Despite its lack of content, many researchers have mistaken the BPSM for a scientific model with explanatory power. This misapprehension has placed researchers in an implicit bind. There is an expectation that applications of (...)
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  7. A remarkable American work upon evolution and the germ theory of disease.Edward Bagnall Poulton - 1913 - London,: Printed by Taylor and Francis.
  8. Medical Disorder Is Not a Black Box Essentialist Concept.Harriet Fagerberg - 2023 - Philosophy of Medicine 4 (1).
    Defining Mental Disorder: Jerome Wakefield and His Critics, edited by Denis Forest and Luc Faucher, is essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of medicine whose work is informed by that of Jerome Wakefield, or the disease debate in general. If you are anything like me, this book will open the door to a new depth of understanding of the harmful dysfunction analysis (HDA) and its methodical underpinnings, and an enriched appreciation of what is at stake in defining medical (...)
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  9. What Is Psychiatry About?Dominic Murphy - 2023 - Philosophy Psychiatry and Psychology 30 (1):41-43.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:What Is Psychiatry About?Dominic Murphy, PhD (bio)There are no such things as minds, but there are animate objects who behave differently from other types of natural entity. They move around under their own power, and some of their activity seems to be very different from that of other natural objects. Furthermore, some of our predictions about these objects are disproved in interesting ways; if we make a false prediction (...)
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  10. Minding Psychiatric Practice.Paul B. Lieberman - 2023 - Philosophy Psychiatry and Psychology 30 (1):37-39.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Minding Psychiatric PracticePaul B. Lieberman, MD (bio)In recent discussions of what makes or should make something 'a psychiatric disorder' (if anything does; Lange, 2007), attention and contention have mostly involved problems distinguishing disorder from normal life, expectable suffering, neurological disease, criminality, prejudice, error, religious experience and effects of injustice, but the question of what makes or should make something psychiatric is also important and difficult to answer. It's important (...)
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  11. Narcissism A Focal Point for Examining the Interrelatedness of Psychology and Philosophy.Lydia Amir - 2023 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 30 (2):169-172.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Narcissism A Focal Point for Examining the Interrelatedness of Psychology and PhilosophyLydia Amir, PhD (bio)In a groundbreaking article, Aleksandar Fatic challenges the view that mental health is to be dissociated from morality or ethics. His argument targets cluster B personality disorders, such as Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Disorders, but focuses mainly on narcissistic disorders, whether diagnosed or not. Although these persons are not exempt of moral and legal responsibility, (...)
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  12. A REVIEW ON AYURVEDIC PRACTICE THROUGH SADAPADARTHA THEORY.Devanand Upadhyay & B. K. Dwibedy - 2017 - Int. J. Res. Ayurveda Pharm 8 (3):31-35.
    Padartha is a concept which has been clinically and academically described in Ayurveda. Health and disease are prime focus of Ayurveda and the principle causes behind both of these are Padatha. Ayurveda and Vaisheshika darshan considers similar padartha but with different views. How this view is different has been explained? Disease is a state of disequilibrium of physiological functions causing vriddhi or kshaya of structural entity (Dhatus). Vriddhi or Kshaya is based on samanya and vishesha and its treatment is also (...)
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  13. Are All Mental Disorders Affective Disorders?Michelle Maiese - 2023 - Passion: Journal of the European Philosophical Society for the Study of Emotion 1 (1):31-49.
    A growing number of theorists have looked to the enactivist approach in philosophy of mind or the affordance-based approach from ecological psychology to make sense of a wide variety of phenomena; some theorists believe that these theoretical accounts can offer rich insights about the nature of mental disorders, their etiology, and their characteristic symptoms. I argue that theorists who adopt such approaches also should embrace the further claim that all mental disorders are affective disorders. First, enactivist accounts of mental disorder (...)
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  14. Preclinical Disease or Risk Factor? Alzheimer’s Disease as a Case Study of Changing Conceptualizations of Disease.Maartje H. N. Schermer - 2023 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 48 (4):322-334.
    Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) provides an excellent case study to investigate emerging conceptions of health, disease, pre-disease, and risk. Two scientific working groups have recently reconceptualized AD and created a new category of asymptomatic biomarker positive persons, who are either said to have preclinical AD, or to be at risk for AD. This article examines how prominent theories of health and disease would classify this condition: healthy or diseased? Next, the notion of being “at risk”—a state somewhere in-between health and disease—is (...)
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  15. Brain dysfunction without function.Harriet Fagerberg - 2023 - Philosophical Psychology 1 (3):570-582.
    In an important and timely book, Anneli Jefferson outlines a view according to which a given mental disorder is a brain disorder if it is a (harmful) mental dysfunction realised by a brain dysfunction. Prima facie, Jefferson’s book is a study in the metaphysics of dysfunction: how does mental dysfunction relate to brain dysfunction, and what does this imply for the status of mental disorders and brain disorders? In what follows, I shall argue that Jefferson’s contribution to this debate is (...)
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  16. Infinity, Technology, Degeneracy: A Note on Werkhoven’s Dispositional Theory of Health.Shane N. Glackin - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (3):797-807.
    Werkhoven’s ‘A Dispositional Theory of Health’ is an important and original contribution to debates about the disease concept, which persuasively demonstrates that dispositions must play some role in a full account of what it is to be healthy or ill. Unfortunately, as a theory, it cannot as it stands be correct.I first demonstrate what appears to be a significant, and possibly fatal, flaw; the proliferation of dispositions which Werkhoven’s theory requires makes impossible, at least in the absence of significant further (...)
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  17. Une théorie en germe ? Les « intuitions » des Grecs sur les maladies contagieuses.Hebrard Jeremie - 2021 - Volumen 22:31-60.
    This contribution gives an overview of the few passages of Ancient Greek literature dealing with the causes of epidemics and contagions (i.e. in Hippocrates, Thucydides, Isocrates, ps-Aristotle’s Problems, Plutarch, and Galen). With the help of the distinction between an ontological and a physiological conception of what a disease is, I suggest that the latter was an obstacle to better understand the process through which epidemics spread. I nonetheless show that the ontological conception of these diseases was not entirely absent from (...)
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  18. The Medical Model of “Obesity” and the Values Behind the Guise of Health.Kayla R. Mehl - forthcoming - Synthese 201 (6):1-28.
    Assumptions about obesity—e.g., its connection to ill health, its causes, etc.—are still prevalent today, and they make up what I call the medical model of fatness. In this paper, I argue that the medical model was established on the basis of insufficient evidence and has nevertheless continued to be relied upon to justify methodological choices that further entrench the assumptions of the medical model. These choices are illegitimate in so far as they conflict with both the epistemic and social aims (...)
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  19. Does Schizophrenia Exist?Georg Repnikov - 2023 - Philosophy of Medicine 4 (1).
    This paper develops and defends a deflationary analysis of existence claims involving psychiatric disorders. According to this analysis, a given psychiatric disorder exists if, and only if, there are people who have the disorder. The implications of this analysis are spelled out for our views of nosological decision making, and for the relationship between claims about the existence of psychiatric disorders and claims about their reality. A pragmatic view of psychiatric nosology is defended and it is argued that worries about (...)
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  20. Is Autism a Mental Disorder According to the Harmful Dysfunction View?Mladen Bošnjak - 2023 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 23 (67):89-111.
    The supporters of the neurodiversity movement contend that autism is not a mental disorder, but rather a natural human variation. In a recent paper Jerome Wakefi eld, David Wasserman and Jordan Conrad (2020) argued against this view relying on Wakefi eld’s harmful dysfunction theory of mental disorder (the HD theory). Although I argue that the HD theory is problematic, I contend that arguments offered by Wakefi eld et al. (2020) against those of the neurodiversity movement are plausible, except in one (...)
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  21. Knowledge, Life, and Error. Nietzschean Themes in the Work of Georges Canguilhem.Henning Schmidgen - 2023 - In Giuseppe Bianco, Charles T. Wolfe & Gertrudis Van de Vijver (eds.), Canguilhem and Continental Philosophy of Biology. Springer. pp. 147-157.
    It is well known that authors such as Emile Chartier, i.e. Alain, Henri Bergson and Kurt Goldstein impacted importantly on the work of Georges Canguilhem. This paper argues, however, that it is the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche which gave Canguilhem’s work its most distinctive traits. Themes such as the relationship between health and disease, the influence of language on perception and knowledge, or the conception of philosophy as a philosophy of values, are obviously Nietzschean. The paper shows that in Nietzsche (...)
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  22. Severity as a moral qualifier of malady.Carl Tollef Solberg, Mathias Barra, Lars Sandman & Bjorn Hoffmann - 2023 - BMC Medical Ethics 24 (1):1-7.
    The overarching aim of this article is to scrutinize how severity can work as a qualifier for the moral impetus of malady. While there is agreement that malady is of negative value, there is disagreement about precisely how this is so. Nevertheless, alleviating disease, injury, and associated suffering is almost universally considered good. Furthermore, the strength of a diseased person’s moral claims for our attention and efforts will inevitably vary. This article starts by reflecting on what kind of moral impetus (...)
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  23. What Makes a Disorder 'Mental'? A Practical Treatment of Psychiatric Disorder.Joseph Gough - 2023 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 30 (1):15-35.
    Abstract:The titular question, of what makes a disorder 'mental,' has an obvious answer: mental disorders are disorders of the mind. I argue that this is not so, before proposing a positive theory of what makes a disorder 'mental,' that what makes a disorder 'mental' is its relationship to psychiatry. The overall thrust of my argument is that mental disorder is mental in name only—to have a mental disorder is not to have a disorder of the mind. Instead, mental disorder is (...)
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  24. Correction to: Experimental philosophy of medicine and the concepts of health and disease.Walter Veit - 2023 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 44 (1):99-100.
  25. Mental disorder: An ability-based view.Sanja Dembic - 2023 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 4.
    What is it to have a mental disorder? The paper proposes an ability-based view of mental disorder. It argues that such a view is preferable to biological dysfunction views such as Wakefield’s Harmful Dysfunction Analysis and Boorse’s Biostatistical Theory. According to the proposed view, having a mental disorder is basically a matter of having a certain type of inability (or: an ability that is not sufficiently high): the inability to respond adequately to some of one’s available reasons in some of (...)
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  26. The skill of mental health: Towards a new theory of mental health and disorder.Garson Leder & Tadeusz Zawidzki - 2023 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 4.
    This paper presents a naturalist skill-based alternative to traditional function-based naturalist theories of mental health and disorder. According to the novel skill view outlined here, mental health is a skilled action of individuals, rather than a question of the functioning of mental mechanisms. Mental disorder is the failure or breakdown of this skill. This skill view of mental health is motivated by focusing on the process of mental healing. This paper argues that, when we start with a focus on how (...)
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  27. Pathologizing Ugliness: A Conceptual Analysis of the Naturalist and Normativist Claims in “Aesthetic Pathology”.Yves Saint James Aquino - 2022 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 47 (6):735-748.
    Pathologizing ugliness refers to the use of disease language and medical processes to foster and support the claim that undesirable features are pathological conditions requiring medical or surgical intervention. Primarily situated in cosmetic surgery, the practice appeals to the concept of “aesthetic pathology”, which is a medical designation for features that deviate from some designated aesthetic norms. This article offers a two-pronged conceptual analysis of aesthetic pathology. First, I argue that three sets of claims, derived from normativist and naturalistic accounts (...)
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  28. Is Aging a Disease? The Theoretical Definition of Aging in the Light of the Philosophy of Medicine.Cristian Saborido & Pablo García-Barranquero - 2022 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 47 (6):770-783.
    In the philosophical debate on aging, it is common to raise the question of the theoretical definition of aging in terms of its possible characterization as a disease. Understanding aging as a disease seems to imply its medicalization, which has important practical consequences. In this paper, we analyze the question of whether aging is a disease by appealing to the concept of disease in the philosophy of medicine. As a result of this analysis, we argue that a pragmatist approach to (...)
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  29. Osteoporosis and risk of fracture: reference class problems are real.Nicholas Binney - 2022 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 43 (5):375-400.
    Elselijn Kingma argues that Christopher Boorse’s biostatistical theory does not show how the reference classes it uses—namely, age groups of a sex of a species—are objective and naturalistic. Boorse has replied that this objection is of no concern, because there are no examples of clinicians’ choosing to use reference classes other than the ones he suggests. Boorse argues that clinicians use the reference classes they do because these reflect the natural classes of organisms to which their patients belong. Drawing on (...)
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  30. Prolonged grief as a disease?Ronja Lutz, Cornelia Eibauer & Andreas Frewer - 2022 - Ethik in der Medizin 34 (4):609-626.
    Definition of the problem The eleventh version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), which became effective in 2022, has raised a number of issues associated with medical ethics. Arguments In this context the paper explores the normative view of grief as a disease. ICD-11 contains the new diagnosis of “prolonged grief disorder” with a definition that fails to aid its clear distinction from the normal course of grief. The article discusses the philosophical and ethical implications of this diagnosis and (...)
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  31. Representation and Pathology in Philosophy and Psychotherapy.Aleksandar Fatić - 2019 - Filozofska Istrazivanja 39 (1):33-47.
    The paper discusses the conceptualisation of mental disorder as a representation, rather than an illness, and relates this perspective to the modern understanding of mental health as a healthy »narrative« or life story. The author proceeds to briefly consider the evolution of concepts of illness in psychiatry and a gradual reappearance of Lacanian psychoanalysis and psychiatry. The key concepts of Lacanian psychotherapy pave the way to a growing together of standard psychotherapy and modern philosophical practice within the novel concept of (...)
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  32. A Critical Review of the Definition of Mental Disorders in DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). 김광영 & 정우진 - 2022 - Cheolhak-Korean Journal of Philosophy 150:309-331.
    이 연구는 정신질환에 대한 기존의 정의를 개괄적으로 검토하고 DSM-5의 정신질환 정의를 고찰함으로써, DSM의 정의가 정상과 이상 사이의 경계 세우기라는 목적을 제대로 구현하지 못함을 보여주고, 정신질환의 정의에 관한 논의의 함의를 제시한다. 프랜시스와 필립스의 연구는 정신질환의 정의에 관련된 논의가 다양한 존재론적, 인식론적 기반 위에서 개진되었음을 알려준다. 기존의 논의는 크게 실재론적 태도와 정신질환 개념이 자의적이라는 구성주의적 태도로 나뉜다. DSM-5는 실재론적 입장을 견지하고 있으나, 진단에 가치적 개념을 포함하고 있고 실질적인 객관적 지표가 없다는 문제점이 있다. DSM-III편집의 책임자인 스피처의 정신질환 정의 또한 같은 문제를 내포한다. DSM-5는 (...)
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  33. The Concept of Mental Disease in Plato. 장미성 - 2018 - Journal of the Society of Philosophical Studies 121:1-24.
    본 논문의 목적은 영혼의 질병과 치유와 관련된 고대 논변들을 통해 플라톤이 말하는 정신의 질병과 건강은 무엇인지 알아보는 것이다. 고대 그리스에서 의학은 몸의 건강을 돌보는 것이었다면, 철학은 영혼의 건강을 돌보며 삶을 변화시키는 것이었다. 따라서 정신적 질병의 개념을 규정하는 것은 의학의 영역이기보다 철학의 영역이며, 철학의 실천적 기능은 우리의 영혼을 돌보는 삶이다. 그리고 영혼을 돌보기 위해서는 영혼의 질병은 무엇이며 어디서부터 오는지에 관한 진단이 우선시 된다. 플라톤은 정신적 질병을 (1) 국부적인 뇌의 문제가 아니라 인격의 총체적 문제이며, (2) 이는 불균형과 부조화에 기이하는 것으로, (3) 무지 (...)
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  34. Critique and Refinement of the Wakefieldian Concept of Disorder: An Improvement of the Harmful Dysfunction Analysis.Emmanuel Smith - 2022 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 47 (4):530-539.
    One way in which bioethicists can benefit the medical community is by clarifying the concept of disorder. Since insurance companies refer to the DSM for whether a patient should receive assistance, one must consider the consequences of one’s concept of disorder for who should be provided with care. I offer a refinement of Jerome Wakefield’s hybrid concept of disorder, the harmful dysfunction analysis. I criticize both the factual component and the value component of Wakefield’s account and suggest how they might (...)
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  35. Mental Disorder, Meaning-making, and Religious Engagement.Kate Finley - 2023 - Theologica 7 (1).
    Meaning-making plays a central role in how we deal with experiences of suffering, including those due to mental disorder. And for many, religious beliefs, experiences, and practices (hereafter, religious engagement) play a central role in informing this meaning-making. However, a crucial facet of the relationship between experiences of mental disorder and religious engagement remains underexplored—namely the potentially positive effects of mental disorder on religious engagement (e.g. experiences of bipolar disorder increasing sense of God’s presence). In what follows, I will present (...)
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  36. The concept of genetic disease.Jonathan Michael Kaplan - 2016 - In Miriam Solomon, Jeremy R. Simon & Harold Kincaid (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Medicine. Routledge.
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  37. The concept of disease.Dominic Sisti & Arthur L. Caplan - 2016 - In Miriam Solomon, Jeremy R. Simon & Harold Kincaid (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Medicine. Routledge.
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  38. Losing our minds: the challenge of defining mental illness.Lucy Foulkes - 2022 - New York: St. Martin's Press.
    A compelling and incisive book that questions the overuse of mental health terms to describe universal human emotions Public awareness of mental illness has been transformed in recent years, but our understanding of how to define it has yet to catch up. Too often, psychiatric disorders are confused with the inherent stresses and challenges of human experience. A narrative has taken hold that a mental health crisis has been building among young people. In this profoundly sensitive and constructive book, psychologist (...)
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  39. Own-world and Common World in Schizophrenia: Towards a Theory of Anthropological Proportions.Kasper Møller Nielsen - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-21.
    The conceptual pair of own-world and common world constitutes an archaic pair, originally introduced by Heraclitus. More than two millennia after its introduction, Binswanger picked up this conceptual pair in the attempt to understand existence and mental disorder. Ever since, this conceptual pair has been part of the conceptualization of schizophrenia in phenomenological psychopathology. However, the concepts of ídios kósmos and koinós kósmos have seldomly been elaborated and expanded upon, and certain unclarities rest within the literature. This paper resolves some (...)
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  40. Psychiatric Disorders Are Soft Natural Kinds.Dan J. Stein - 2022 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 29 (3):183-185.
    Tilmes concludes his interesting and informative piece with the sentence that “analysis of psychiatric vagueness merits further consideration.” I agree with this point, as well as with his earlier assertion that how one understands psychiatric vagueness may implicate the diagnostic model that one adopts, and the research that one pursues. Fortunately, there has been recent attention to vagueness in psychiatry, addressing both degree-vagueness and combinatorial vagueness. Vagueness in psychiatry is related to a range of nosological debates, including about the...
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  41. The six most essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis: A pluralogue part 2: Issues of conservatism and pragmatism in psychiatric diagnosis.Phillips James, Frances Allen, A. Cerullo Michael, Chardavoyne John, S. Decker Hannah, B. First Michael, Ghaemi Nassir, Greenberg Gary, C. Hinderliter Andrew, A. Kinghorn Warren, G. LoBello Steven, B. Martin Elliott, L. Mishara Aaron, Paris Joel, M. Pierre Joseph, W. Pies Ronald, A. Pincus Harold, Porter Douglas, Pouncey Claire, A. Schwartz Michael, Szasz Thomas, C. Wakefield Jerome, G. Waterman, Whooley Owen & Zachar Peter - 2012 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 7 (1):8.
    In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...)
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  42. What Counts as a Disease, and Why Does It Matter?Quill R. Kukla - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy of Disability 2:130-156.
    I argue that the concept of disease serves such radically different strategic purposes for different kinds of stakeholders that coming up with a unified philosophical definition of disease is hopeless. Instead, I defend a radically pluralist, pragmatist account of when it is appropriate to mobilize the concept of disease. I argue that it is appropriate to categorize a condition as a disease when it serves legitimate strategic goals to at least partially medicalize that condition, and when the condition is pathological (...)
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  43. From psychiatric kinds to harmful symptoms.Christophe Gauld - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-25.
    Much research in the philosophy of psychiatry has been devoted to the characterization of the normal and the pathological. In this article, we identify and deconstruct two postulates that have held sway in the philosophy of psychiatry. The first postulate concerns the belief that clinicians would benefit from conceiving of psychiatric disorders as stable entities with clear boundaries. By relying on a symptom-based approach, we support a conception of psychiatric disorders whose symptoms are the products of many activated mechanisms in (...)
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  44. Causation and Causal Selection in the Biopsychosocial Model of Health and Disease.Hane Htut Maung - 2021 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 17 (2):5-27.
    In The Biopsychosocial Model of Health and Disease, Derek Bolton and Grant Gillett argue that a defensible updated version of the biopsychosocial model requires a metaphysically adequate account of disease causation that can accommodate biological, psychological, and social factors. This present paper offers a philosophical critique of their account of biopsychosocial causation. I argue that their account relies on claims about the normativity and the semantic content of biological information that are metaphysically contentious. Moreover, I suggest that these claims are (...)
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  45. Health and disease are dynamic complex-adaptive states implications for practice and research.Joachim P. Sturmberg - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychiatry 12 (29).
    Interoception, the ability to convey one's overall physiological state, allows people to describe their health along an experiential continuum, from excellent, very good, good, fair to poor. Each health state reflects a distinct pattern of one's overall function. This assay provides a new frame of understanding health and disease as complex-adaptive system states of the person as-a-whole. It firstly describes how complex patterns can emerge from simple equations. It then discusses how clinical medicine in certain domains has started to explore (...)
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  46. Naturalism, Disease, and Levels of Functional Description.Somogy Varga & David Miguel Gray - 2022 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 47 (3):482-493.
    The paper engages Christopher Boorse’s Bio-Statistical Theory. In its current form, BST runs into a significant challenge. For BST to account for its central tenet—that lower-level part-dysfunction is sufficient for higher-level pathology—it must provide criteria for how to decide which lower-level parts are the ones to be analyzed for health or pathology. As BST is a naturalistic theory, such choices must be based solely on naturalistic considerations. An argument is provided to show that, if BST is to be preserved, such (...)
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