Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 45 (3):332-349 (2020)

Authors
Abstract
Normativism holds that there is a close conceptual link between disease and disvalue. We challenge normativism by advancing an argument against a popular normativist theory, Jerome Wakefield’s harmful dysfunction account. Wakefield maintains that medical disorders are breakdowns in evolved mechanisms that cause significant harm to the organism. We argue that Wakefield’s account is not a promising way to distinguish between disease and health because being harmful is neither necessary nor sufficient for a dysfunction to be a disorder. Counterexamples to the harmful dysfunction account are considered, such as mild infections, perceptual deficits, and beneficial illnesses. Then we consider two ways of amending the harmful dysfunction account to address these cases and argue that the proposed amendments raise even more serious problems for this account. These problems apply generally to any normativist theory and raise doubts about the entire normative approach to the philosophy of health and disease.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhaa007
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: 59,759
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

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Nature of Disease.Lawrie Reznek - 1987 - Routledge & Kegan Paul.

View all 28 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Bioethics in the Ruins.Allen Porter - 2020 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 45 (3):259-276.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Harm of Medical Disorder as Harm in the Damage Sense.David Limbaugh - 2019 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 40 (1):1-19.
Harm and the Concept of Medical Disorder.Neil Feit - 2017 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 38 (5):367-385.
Disease, Dysfunction, and Synthetic Biology.Sune Holm - 2014 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (4):329-345.
Is Psychopathy a Mental Disease?Thomas Nadelhoffer & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2013 - In Nicole Vincent (ed.), Neuroscience and legal responsibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 229–255.
Is Psychopathy a Harmful Dysfunction?Marko Jurjako - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (5):1-23.
Defining Disease in the Context of Overdiagnosis.Mary Jean Walker & Wendy Rogers - 2017 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 20 (2):269-280.
Defining Disease in the Context of Overdiagnosis.Mary Jean Walker & Wendy Rogers - 2017 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 20 (2):269-280.
Medical disorder, harm, and damage.Neil Feit - 2020 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 41 (1):39-52.
Diseases, Functions, Values, and Psychiatric Classification.John Z. Sadler & George J. Agich - 1995 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 2 (3):219-231.
Small Tumors as Risk Factors Not Disease.Peter H. Schwartz - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):986-998.
Plural Harm.Neil Feit - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):361-388.
The Harmful Dysfunction Analysis of Mental Disorder.Dominic Murphy & Robert L. Woolfolk - 2000 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 7 (4):241-252.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-05-22

Total views
13 ( #729,067 of 2,432,575 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #114,999 of 2,432,575 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes