The harm of medical disorder as harm in the damage sense

Abstract

Jerome Wakefield has argued that a disorder is a harmful dysfunction. This paper develops how Wakefield should construe harmful in his harmful dysfunction analysis. Recently, Neil Feit has argued that classic puzzles involved in analyzing harm render Wakefield’s HDA better off without harm as a necessary condition. Whether or not one conceives of harm as comparative or non-comparative, the concern is that the HDA forces people to classify as mere dysfunction what they know to be a disorder. For instance, one can conceive of cases where simultaneous disorders prevent each other from being, in any traditional sense, actually harmful; in such cases, according to the HDA, neither would be a disorder. I argue that the sense of harm that Wakefield should employ in the HDA is dispositional, similar to the sense of harm used when describing a vile of poison: “Be careful! That’s poison. It’s harmful.” I call this harm in the damage sense. Using this sense of harm enables the HDA to avoid Feit’s arguments, and thus it should be preferred to other senses when analyzing harmful dysfunction.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-03-03

Downloads
127 (#94,604)

6 months
22 (#40,689)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

David Limbaugh
State University of New York (SUNY)

References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality.Barbara Vetter - 2015 - Oxford, England and New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
Health as a Theoretical Concept.Christopher Boorse - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (4):542-573.
Well-Being and Death.Ben Bradley - 2009 - Oxford University Press.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Similar books and articles

Harm and the Concept of Medical Disorder.Neil Feit - 2017 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 38 (5):367-385.
On the Notion of (Medical) Invasiveness.Abraham Rudnick - 2011 - Health Care Analysis 19 (2):99-106.
Collateral Damage and the Principle of Due Care.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2014 - Journal of Military Ethics 13 (1):94-105.
Plural Harm.Neil Feit - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):361-388.
Harm and the Boundaries of Disease.Patrick McGivern & Sarah Sorial - 2017 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 42 (4):467-484.
The Moral Status of Enabling Harm.Samuel C. Rickless - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):66-86.
The Harm Principle.Nils Holtug - 2002 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (4):357-389.
Mortal Harm.Steven Luper - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (227):239–251.
Values and Harms in Loss and Damage.Katie McShane - 2017 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 20 (2):129-142.
A Difficulty Concerning Compensation.Saul Smilansky - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (3):329-337.