The concept of health and disease

Abstract
Examining the naturalist and normativist concepts of health and disease this article starts with analysing the view of C. Boorse. It rejects Boorse's account of health as species-typical functioning, giving a critique of his view based on evolutionary theory of contemporary biology. Then it gives a short overview of the normativist theories of health, which can be objectivist and subjectivist theories. Rejecting the objectivist theories as philosophically untenable, it turns to the subjectivist theories of Gert and Culver, and to the view of Nordenfelt. These theories give quite a good subjectivist account of health and disease, but they do not pay enough attention to the notion of the environment, without which it is impossible to define health and disease. Starting with their definitions but introducing the notion of “reasonable social norms”, the article arrives at the following definition of health: The healthier a physical or mental characteristic, process, reaction is, the more it makes it possible for the individual to adapt to reasonable social norms without pain and suffering, and the longer, and happier a life it will be able to ensure him in that society
Keywords disease  evolution  health  human environment
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1009981721055
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,300
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Rethinking Health: Healthy or Healthier Than?S. Andrew Schroeder - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):131-159.
A Second Rebuttal On Health.Christopher Boorse - 2014 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (6):683-724.
On a Naturalist Theory of Health: A Critique.J. David Guerrero - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 41 (3):272-278.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Concepts of Health and Disease.Jozsef Kovács - 1989 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 14 (3):261-267.
A Theory of Health and Disease: The Objectivist-Subjectivist Dichotomy.Robert M. Sade - 1995 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (5):513-525.
The Significance of the Concept of Disease for Justice in Health Care.Thomas Schramme - 2007 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (2):121-135.
Health as a Theoretical Concept.Christopher Boorse - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (4):542-573.
A Pathological View of Disease.William E. Stempsey - 2000 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 21 (4):321-330.
Fuzzy Health, Illness, and Disease.Kazem Sadegh-Zadeh - 2000 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 25 (5):605 – 638.
A Two-Dimensional Theory of Health.Per-Anders Tengland - 2007 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (4):257-284.
Simplified Models of the Relationship Between Health and Disease.Bjørn Hofmann - 2005 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (5):355-377.
Theoretical Health and Medical Practice.James Krueger - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (3):491-508.
Emerging Medical Technologies and Emerging Conceptions of Health.William E. Stempsey - 2006 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (3):227-243.
Do We Need a Concept of Disease?Germund Hesslow - 1993 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 14 (1).
Added to PP index
2010-09-11

Total downloads
86 ( #62,452 of 2,193,091 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #33,576 of 2,193,091 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature