Evolution, Dysfunction, and Disease: A Reappraisal

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (2):301-327 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Some ‘naturalist’ accounts of disease employ a biostatistical account of dysfunction, whilst others use a ‘selected effect’ account. Several recent authors have argued that the biostatistical account offers the best hope for a naturalist account of disease. We show that the selected effect account survives the criticisms levelled by these authors relatively unscathed, and has significant advantages over the BST. Moreover, unlike the BST, it has a strong theoretical rationale and can provide substantive reasons to decide difficult cases. This is illustrated by showing how life-history theory clarifies the status of so-called diseases of old age. The selected effect account of function deserves a more prominent place in the philosophy of medicine than it currently occupies. _1_ Introduction _2_ Biostatistical and Selected Effect Accounts of Function _3_ Objections to the Selected Effect Account _3.1_ Boorse _3.2_ Kingma _3.3_ Hausman _3.4_ Murphy and Woolfolk _4_ Problems for the Biostatistical Account _4.1_ Schwartz _5_ Analysis versus Explication _6_ Explicating Dysfunction: Life History Theory and Senescence _7_ Conclusion

Similar books and articles

Disease, Dysfunction, and Synthetic Biology.Sune Holm - 2014 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (4):329-345.
Small Tumors as Risk Factors not Disease.Peter H. Schwartz - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):986-998.
Addiction is not a brain disease (and it matters).Neil Levy - 2013 - Frontiers in Psychiatry 4 (24):1--7.
Is psychopathy a mental disease?Thomas Nadelhoffer & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2013 - In Nicole Vincent (ed.), Neuroscience and legal responsibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 229–255.
A critique of Kitcher on eugenic reasoning.Gregory Radick - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 32 (4):741-751.
The concept of disease: Structure and change.Paul Thagard - 1996 - Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 29 (3/4):445-478.
Disease.Rachel Cooper - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (2):263-282.
Naturalism about Health and Disease: Adding Nuance for Progress.Elselijn Kingma - 2014 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (6):590-608.
The Factory Model of Disease.Neil E. Williams - 2007 - The Monist 90 (4):555-584.

Analytics

Added to PP
2016-09-15

Downloads
666 (#13,697)

6 months
63 (#20,098)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

John Matthewson
Massey University
Paul Edmund Griffiths
University of Sydney

Citations of this work

Biological normativity: a new hope for naturalism?Walter Veit - 2021 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 24 (2):291-301.
Concept of Disorder Revisited: Robustly Value-Laden Despite Change.I.—Rachel Cooper - 2020 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 94 (1):141-161.
Why Mental Disorders are not Like Software Bugs.Harriet Fagerberg - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (4):661-682.
Concepts of disease and health.Dominic Murphy - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 24 citations / Add more citations