Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (6):572-589 (2014)
AbstractSimilarly 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
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Citations of this work
Evolution, Dysfunction, and Disease: A Reappraisal.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.
Diseases are Not Adaptations and Neither are Their Causes.Paul E. Griffiths & John Matthewson - 2020 - Biological Theory 15 (3):136-142.
References found in this work
Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
Logical Foundations of Probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago, IL, USA: Chicago University of Chicago Press.