Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (4):329-345 (2014)

Authors
Sune Holm
University of Copenhagen
Abstract
Theorists analyzing the concept of disease on the basis of the notion of dysfunction consider disease to be dysfunction requiring. More specifically, dysfunction-requiring theories of disease claim that for an individual to be diseased certain biological facts about it must be the case. Disease is not wholly a matter of evaluative attitudes. In this paper, I consider the dysfunction-requiring component of Wakefield’s hybrid account of disease in light of the artifactual organisms envisioned by current research in synthetic biology. In particular, I argue that the possibility of artifactual organisms and the case of oncomice and other bred or genetically modified strains of organism constitute a significant objection to Wakefield’s etiological account of the dysfunction requirement. I then develop a new alternative understanding of the dysfunction requirement that builds on the organizational theory of function. I conclude that my suggestion is superior to Wakefield’s theory because it (a) can accommodate both artifactual and naturally evolved organisms, (b) avoids the possibility of there being a conflict between what an organismic part is supposed to do and the health of the organism, and (c) provides a nonarbitrary and practical way of determining whether dysfunction occurs
Keywords DISEASE  DYSFUNCTION  ETHICS  FUNCTION  HEALTH  MEDICINE  ORGANISM  SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhu025
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: 71,512
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

An Organizational Account of Biological Functions.Matteo Mossio, Cristian Saborido & Alvaro Moreno - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):813-841.
Functional Analysis and Proper Functions.Paul E. Griffiths - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):409-422.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Organism and Artifact: Proper Functions in Paley Organisms.Sune Holm - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4b):706-713.
A Plea for the Plurality of Function.Tony Cheng - 2016 - Review of Contemporary Philosophy 15:70-81.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Addiction is Not a Brain Disease (and It Matters).Neil Levy - 2013 - Frontiers in Psychiatry 4 (24):1--7.
Synthetic Biology and Biological Interests.Sune Hannibal Holm - forthcoming - Philosophy and Technology.
Synthetic Biology: A Challenge to Mechanical Explanations in Biology?Michel Morange - 2012 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 55 (4):543-553.
Editors' Introduction to Special Issue.Ute Deichmann, Michel Morange & Anthony S. Travis - 2012 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 55 (4):470-472.
Synthetic Biology and Synthetic Knowledge.Christophe Malaterre - 2013 - Biological Theory (8):346–356.
Biological Interests, Normative Functions, and Synthetic Biology.Sune Holm - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):525-541.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-12-20

Total views
41 ( #278,868 of 2,520,896 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #405,457 of 2,520,896 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes