A Second Rebuttal On Health

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (6):683-724 (2014)
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This essay replies to critics since 1995 of my “biostatistical theory” of health. According to the BST, a pathological condition is a state of statistically species-subnormal biological part-functional ability, relative to sex and age. Theoretical health, the total absence of pathological conditions, is then a value-free scientific notion. Recent critics offer a mixture of old and new objections to this analysis. Some new ones relate to choice of reference class, situation-specificity of function, common diseases and healthy populations, improvements in population health, the practice of pathologists, “Cambridge changes” in health status, and comparative vs. absolute health concepts. I make no changes in doctrine, except to consider treating “normal aging” as pathological by taking young adults as the standard for all adults



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Christopher Boorse
University of Delaware

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