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  1. How to Draw the Line Between Health and Disease? Start with Suffering.Bjørn Hofmann - 2021 - Health Care Analysis 29 (2):127-143.
    How can we draw the line between health and disease? This crucial question of demarcation has immense practical implications and has troubled scholars for ages. The question will be addressed in three steps. First, I will present an important contribution by Rogers and Walker who argue forcefully that no line can be drawn between health and disease. However, a closer analysis of their argument reveals that a line-drawing problem for disease-related features does not necessarily imply a line-drawing problem for disease (...)
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  • Simplified Models of the Relationship Between Health and Disease.Bjørn Hofmann - 2005 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (5):355-377.
    The concepts of health and disease are crucial in defining the aim and the limits of modern medicine. Accordingly it is important to understand them and their relationship. However, there appears to be a discrepancy between scholars in philosophy of medicine and health care professionals with regard to these concepts. 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, (...)
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  • Medical Explanations and Lay Conceptions of Disease and Illness in Doctor–Patient Interaction.Halvor Nordby - 2008 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 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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  • Nosology, Ontology and Promiscuous Realism.Nicholas Binney - 2015 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 21 (3):391-397.
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  • What Are Chronic Diseases?Jonathan Fuller - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):3197-3220.
    What kind of a thing are chronic diseases? Are they objects, bundles of signs and symptoms, properties, processes, or fictions? Rather than using concept analysis—the standard approach to disease in the philosophy of medicine—to answer this metaphysical question, I use a bottom-up, inductive approach. I argue that chronic diseases are bodily states or properties—often dispositional, but sometimes categorical. I also investigate the nature of related pathological entities: pathogenesis, etiology, and signs and symptoms. Finally, I defend my view against alternate accounts (...)
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  • Psychopathy: Morally Incapacitated Persons.Heidi Maibom - 2017 - In Thomas Schramme & Steven Edwards (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 1109-1129.
    After describing the disorder of psychopathy, I examine the theories and the evidence concerning the psychopaths’ deficient moral capacities. I first examine whether or not psychopaths can pass tests of moral knowledge. Most of the evidence suggests that they can. If there is a lack of moral understanding, then it has to be due to an incapacity that affects not their declarative knowledge of moral norms, but their deeper understanding of them. I then examine two suggestions: it is their deficient (...)
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  • Personalized Medicine: Evidence of Normativity in its Quantitative Definition of Health.Henrik Vogt, Bjørn Hofmann & Linn Getz - 2016 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 37 (5):401-416.
    Systems medicine, which is based on computational modelling of biological systems, is emerging as an increasingly prominent part of the personalized medicine movement. It is often promoted as ‘P4 medicine’. In this article, we test promises made by some of its proponents that systems medicine will be able to develop a scientific, quantitative metric for wellness that will eliminate the purported vagueness, ambiguity, and incompleteness—that is, normativity—of previous health definitions. We do so by examining the most concrete and relevant evidence (...)
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  • The Concept of Disease—Vague, Complex, or Just Indefinable?Bjørn Hofmann - 2010 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 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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  • The Analytic–Synthetic Distinction and Conceptual Analyses of Basic Health Concepts.Halvor Nordby - 2006 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 9 (2):169-180.
    Within philosophy of medicine it has been a widespread view that there are important theoretical and practical reasons for clarifying the nature of basic health concepts like disease, illness and sickness. Many theorists have attempted to give definitions that can function as general standards, but as more and more definitions have been rejected as inadequate, pessimism about the possibility of formulating plausible definitions has become increasingly widespread. However, the belief that no definitions will succeed since no definitions have succeeded is (...)
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  • The Causation of Disease - the Practical and Ethical Consequences of Competing Explanations.Ulla Räisänen, Marie-Jet Bekkers, Paula Boddington, Srikant Sarangi & Angus Clarke - 2006 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 9 (3):293-306.
    The prevention, treatment and management of disease are closely linked to how the causes of a particular disease are explained. For multi-factorial conditions, the causal explanations are inevitably complex and competing models may exist to explain the same condition. Selecting one particular causal explanation over another will carry practical and ethical consequences that are acutely relevant for health policy. In this paper our focus is two-fold; the different models of causal explanation that are put forward within current scientific literature for (...)
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  • Defining Disease Beyond Conceptual Analysis: An Analysis of Conceptual Analysis in Philosophy of Medicine.Maël Lemoine - 2013 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 34 (4):309-325.
    Conceptual analysis of health and disease is portrayed as consisting in the confrontation of a set of criteria—a “definition”—with a set of cases, called instances of either “health” or “ disease.” Apart from logical counter-arguments, there is no other way to refute an opponent’s definition than by providing counter-cases. As resorting to intensional stipulation is not forbidden, several contenders can therefore be deemed to have succeeded. This implies that conceptual analysis alone is not likely to decide between naturalism and normativism. (...)
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  • ¿Normal o patológico? El enfermo imaginario en tierra de nadie.Alberto Molina Pérez - 2013 - Arbor 189 (763):a068.
    Is the boundary between the normal and the pathological real or fiction? Are health and disease just a matter of fact or are they value-laden? Here we present some examples of how alleged diseases can be invented and propagated by the industry (disease mongering) or by the methodology of medical science itself. We show that the boundary between health and disease is blurred and depends on individual and social representations, culture relative ways of categorising things and people, and by the (...)
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  • Advertisement for the Ontology for Medicine.Jeremy R. Simon - 2010 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (5):333-346.
    The ontology of medicine—the question of whether disease entities are real or not—is an underdeveloped area of philosophical inquiry. This essay explains the primary question at issue in medical ontology, discusses why answering this question is important from both a philosophical and a practical perspective, and argues that the problem of medical ontology is unique, i.e., distinct, from the ontological problems raised by other sciences and therefore requires its own analysis.
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  • Obesity as a Socially Defined Disease: Philosophical Considerations and Implications for Policy and Care.Bjørn Hofmann - 2016 - Health Care Analysis 24 (1):86-100.
    Obesity has generated significant worries amongst health policy makers and has obtained increased attention in health care. Obesity is unanimously defined as a disease in the health care and health policy literature. However, there are pragmatic and not principled reasons for this. This warrants an analysis of obesity according to standard conceptions of disease in the literature of philosophy of medicine. According to theories and definitions of disease referring to internal processes, obesity is not a disease. Obesity undoubtedly can result (...)
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  • Do health professionals have a prototype concept of disease? The answer is no.Bjørn Hofmann - 2017 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2017 12:1 12 (1):6.
    Health and disease are core concepts in health care and have attracted substantial interest and controversy. In recent and interesting contributions to the debate it has been argued that the challenges with the concept of disease can be resolved by a prototype concept of disease. As a robin is a more prototypical of a bird than a penguin, some diseases are more prototypical than others. If disease is a prototype concept, it would change nosology, but also health care and the (...)
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  • Beyond Naturalism and Normativism: Reconceiving the 'Disease' Debate.Jeremy Simon - 2007 - Philosophical Papers 36 (3):343-370.
    In considering the debate about the meaning of ‘disease’, the positions are generally presented as falling into two categories: naturalist, e.g., Boorse, and normativist, e.g., Engelhardt and many others. This division is too coarse, and obscures much of what is going on in this debate. I therefore propose that accounts of the meaning of ‘disease’ be assessed according to Hare’s (1997) taxonomy of evaluative terms. Such an analysis will allow us to better understand both individual positions and their inter-relationships. Most (...)
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  • Who Are the Rightful Owners of the Concepts Disease, Illness and Sickness? A Pluralistic Analysis of Basic Health Concepts.Halvor Nordby - 2019 - Open Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):470-492.
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  • Tensions and Opportunities in Convergence: Shifting Concepts of Disease in Emerging Molecular Medicine. [REVIEW]Marianne Boenink - 2009 - NanoEthics 3 (3):243-255.
    The convergence of biomedical sciences with nanotechnology as well as ICT has created a new wave of biomedical technologies, resulting in visions of a ‘molecular medicine’. Since novel technologies tend to shift concepts of disease and health, this paper investigates how the emerging field of molecular medicine may shift the meaning of ‘disease’ as well as the boundary between health and disease. It gives a brief overview of the development towards and the often very speculative visions of molecular medicine. Subsequently (...)
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  • Molecular Medicine and Concepts of Disease: The Ethical Value of a Conceptual Analysis of Emerging Biomedical Technologies. [REVIEW]Marianne Boenink - 2010 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 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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  • Illness and Disease: An Empirical-Ethical Viewpoint.Anna-Henrikje Seidlein & Sabine Salloch - 2019 - BMC Medical Ethics 20 (1):5.
    The concepts of disease, illness and sickness capture fundamentally different aspects of phenomena related to human ailments and healthcare. The philosophy and theory of medicine are making manifold efforts to capture the essence and normative implications of these concepts. In parallel, socio-empirical studies on patients’ understanding of their situation have yielded a comprehensive body of knowledge regarding subjective perspectives on health-related statuses. Although both scientific fields provide varied valuable insights, they have not been strongly linked to each other. Therefore, the (...)
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  • PGD-Ens Paradokser.Bjørn Hofmann - 2011 - Etikk I Praksis - Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics 5 (2).
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  • Theoretical and Practical Issues in the Definition of Health: Insights From Aboriginal Australia.P. Boddington & U. Raisanen - 2009 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 34 (1):49-67.
    This paper discusses attempts to define health within a public policy arena and practical and conceptual difficulties that arise. An Australian Aboriginal definition of health is examined. Although there are certain difficulties of translation, this definition is prominent in current Australian health policy and discourse about health. The definition can be seen as broadly holistic in comparison to other holistic definitions such as that of the World Health Organization. The nature of this holism and its grounding within the context of (...)
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