Health Care Analysis 21 (4):283-297 (2013)

Abstract
In his influential theory of health Nordenfelt bases the concepts of health and illness on the notions of ability and disability. A premise for this is that ability and disability provide a more promising, adequate, and useful basis than well-being and suffering. Nordenfelt uses coma and manic episodes as paradigm cases to show that this is so. Do these paradigm cases (and thus the premise) hold? What consequences does it have for the theory of health and illness if it they do not? These are the key questions in this article, which first presents the relationship between pain and disability in Nordenfelt’s theory and the paradigm cases he uses to argue for the primacy of disability over pain. Then, Nordenfelt’s concepts of illness are outlined, highlighting its presumptions and arguments. The main point is that if you do not have an action-theoretical perspective, it is not obvious that disability is the core concept for illness. The compelling effect of the paradigm cases presupposes that you see ability as the primary issue. To those who do not share this presumption, people in coma may not be ill. There are alternative well founded arguments for the primacy of first person experiences for the concept of illness. Hence, we need better arguments for the primacy of disability over first person experiences in illness, or first-person experience should be more primarily included in the concept of illness.
Keywords Illness   Action-theory   Sensation   Pain   Suffering   First person experience
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10728-013-0255-2
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,289
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

On the Distinction Between Disease and Illness.Christopher Boorse - 1975 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 5 (1):49-68.

View all 29 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Psychopathy: Morally Incapacitated Persons.Heidi Maibom - 2017 - In Thomas Schramme & Steven Edwards (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 1109-1129.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Nordenfelt's Theory of Disability.Steven D. Edwards - 1998 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 19 (1):89-100.
On Disability and Illness. A Reply to Edwards.Lennart Nordenfelt - 1999 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 20 (2):181-189.
On the Triad Disease, Illness and Sickness.Bjørn Hofmann - 2002 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 27 (6):651 – 673.
Can I Be Ill and Happy?Havi Carel - 2007 - Philosophia 35 (2):95-110.
Illness and the Paradigm of Lived Body.S. Kay Toombs - 1988 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 9 (2).
The Desire for Health and the Promises of Medicine.Roberto Mordacci - 1998 - Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy 1 (1):21-30.
On the Place of Fuzzy Health in Medical Theory.Lennart Nordenfelt - 2000 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 25 (5):639 – 649.
Five Words for Assisted Dying.Iain Brassington - 2008 - Law and Philosophy 27 (5):415 - 444.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-06-13

Total views
37 ( #289,492 of 2,445,270 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #457,173 of 2,445,270 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes