Complexity of the concept of disease as shown through rival theoretical frameworks

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 22 (3):211-236 (2001)

Abstract

The concept of disease has been the subject ofa vast, vivid and versatile debate. Categoriessuch as ``realist'', ``nominalist'', ``ontologist'',``physiologist'', ``normativist'' and``descriptivist'' have been applied to classifydisease concepts. These categories refer tounderlying theoretical frameworks of thedebate. The objective of this review is toanalyse these frameworks. It is argued that thecategories applied in the debate refer toprofound philosophical issues, and that thecomplexity of the debate reflects thecomplexity of the concept itself: disease is acomplex concept, and does not easily lenditself to definition.

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References found in this work

Health as a Theoretical Concept.Christopher Boorse - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (4):542-573.
The Nature of Disease.Lawrie Reznek - 1987 - Routledge & Kegan Paul.
.Antony Flew - 1976 - In ``The Presumption of Atheism&Quot. New York: Barnes & Noble.
The Concepts of Health and Disease.H. Tristram Engelhardt - 1975 - In H. Tristram Engelhardt & Stuart F. Spicker (eds.), Evaluation and explanation in the biomedical sciences. Dordrecht: Reidel. pp. 125-141.
The Concept of Health and Disease.József Kovács - 1998 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 1 (1):31-39.

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