Building a Mystery: Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Beyond

Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 13 (1):61-74 (2006)
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Abstract

In this paper, we suggest some of the dimensions of the problematic concept of Alzheimer Disease as a natural disease discerned by increasingly sophisticated medical scientific progress. Taking a page from Max Weber concerning unique events, we show some of the conceptual building blocks and social processes that have coalesced into the perception of certain phenomena as abnormalities that are seen as implicated in the development of a degenerative disease distinct from the process of normal, but variable, brain aging. We note some of the decisions and social forces pushing for particular conceptualizations, interpretations, and reifications of brain alterations. In so doing, we suggest that the mystery of the "there" may not be much different from, and probably is, the mystery of the "everywhere".

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