Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (6):572-589 (2014)

Authors
Peter H. Schwartz
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis
Abstract
Similarly to other accounts of disease, Christopher Boorse’s Biostatistical Theory (BST) is generally presented and considered as conceptual analysis, that is, as making claims about the meaning of currently used concepts. But conceptual analysis has been convincingly critiqued as relying on problematic assumptions about the existence, meaning, and use of concepts. Because of these problems, accounts of disease and health should be evaluated not as claims about current meaning, I argue, but instead as proposals about how to define and use these terms in the future, a methodology suggested by Quine and Carnap. I begin this article by describing problems with conceptual analysis and advantages of “philosophical explication,” my favored approach. I then describe two attacks on the BST that also question the entire project of defining “disease.” Finally, I defend the BST as a philosophical explication by showing how it could define useful terms for medical science and ethics
Keywords BIOETHICS  BIOSTATISTICS  CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS  DISEASE  ETHICS  MEDICINE  BOORSE, CHRISTOPHER
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhu039
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References found in this work BETA

Just Health: Meeting Health Needs Fairly.Norman Daniels - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.John Rawls (ed.) - 2001 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Evolution, Dysfunction, and Disease: A Reappraisal: Table 1.Paul E. Griffiths & John Matthewson - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (2):301-327.
Progress in Defining Disease: Improved Approaches and Increased Impact.Peter H. Schwartz - 2017 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 42 (4):485-502.
A New Approach to Defining Disease.Mary Jean Walker & Wendy A. Rogers - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (4):402-420.
Précising Definitions as a Way to Combat Overdiagnosis.Wendy A. Rogers & Mary J. Walker - 2018 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 24 (5):1019-1025.

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