Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (4):402-420 (2018)

Authors
Mary Jean Walker
La Trobe University
Abstract
In this paper, we examine recent critiques of the debate about defining disease, which claim that its use of conceptual analysis embeds the problematic assumption that the concept is classically structured. These critiques suggest, instead, developing plural stipulative definitions. Although we substantially agree with these critiques, we resist their implication that no general definition of “disease” is possible. We offer an alternative, inductive argument that disease cannot be classically defined and that the best explanation for this is that the concept is structured as a cluster. We further argue that we do not need to reject the possibility of defining the general concept “disease” to legitimate developing stipulative definitions of disease that are relative to particular purposes. A cluster definition of disease is compatible with contextually motivated definitions, which may be considered précisifications of the more general cluster concept.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhy014
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: 71,316
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

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.
Health as a Theoretical Concept.Christopher Boorse - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (4):542-573.

View all 43 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Concept of Disorder Revisited: Robustly VAlue-Laden Despite Change.I.—Rachel Cooper - 2020 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 94 (1):141-161.
The concept of disease in the time of COVID-19.Maria Cristina Amoretti & Elisabetta Lalumera - 2020 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 41 (5):203-221.
Do You Have a “Syndrome” If You Have a Flat-Shaped Head?Adam Omelianchuk - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (4):369-380.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Defining Disease in the Context of Overdiagnosis.Mary Jean Walker & Wendy Rogers - 2017 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 20 (2):269-280.
Defining 'Health' and 'Disease'.Mark Ereshefsky - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (3):221-227.
How to Proceed in the Disease Concept Debate? A Pragmatic Approach.Leen De Vreese - 2017 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 42 (4):424-446.
The Technological Invention of Disease.B. Hofmann - 2001 - Medical Humanities 27 (1):10-19.
Disease as a Vague and Thick Cluster Concept.Geert Keil & Ralf Stoecker - 2017 - In Geert Keil, Lara Keuck & Rico Hauswald (eds.), Vagueness in Psychiatry. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 46-74.
On Defining 'Disease'.W. Miller Brown - 1985 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 10 (4):311-328.
Fuzzy Health, Illness, and Disease.Kazem Sadegh-Zadeh - 2000 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 25 (5):605 – 638.
The Concept of Disease—Vague, Complex, or Just Indefinable?Bjørn Hofmann - 2010 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 13 (1):3-10.
Variable Meanings for the Definition of Disease.Harold Merskey - 1986 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 11 (3):215-232.
Current Dilemmas in Defining the Boundaries of Disease.Jenny Doust, Mary Jean Walker & Wendy A. Rogers - 2017 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 42 (4):350-366.
Introduction: The Boundaries of Disease.Mary Jean Walker & Wendy A. Rogers - 2017 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 42 (4):343-349.
Disease, Variety, Disagreement, and Typicality: Advantage Roschian Concepts?Neil Pickering - 2016 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 23 (1):17-31.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-07-09

Total views
28 ( #410,694 of 2,519,499 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #407,153 of 2,519,499 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes