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Naturalism about health and disease: adding nuance for progress

Naturalism about health and disease: adding nuance for progress
Naturalism about health and disease: adding nuance for progress
The literature on health and diseases is usually presented as an opposition between naturalism and normativism. This article argues that such a picture is too simplistic: there is not one opposition between naturalism and normativism, but many. I distinguish four different domains where naturalist and normativist claims can be contrasted: (1) ordinary usage, (2) conceptually clean versions of “health” and “disease,” (3) the operationalization of dysfunction, and (4) the justification for that operationalization. In the process I present new arguments in response to Schwartz (2007) and Hausman (2012) and expose a link between the arguments made by Schwartz (2007) and Kingma (2010). Distinguishing naturalist claims at these four domains will allow us to make progress by (1) providing more nuanced, intermediate positions about a possible role for values in health and disease; and (2) assisting in the addressing of relativistic worries about the value-ladenness of health and disease.
0360-5310
590-608
Kingma, Elselijn
24f1e065-3004-452c-868d-9aee3087bf63
Kingma, Elselijn
24f1e065-3004-452c-868d-9aee3087bf63

Kingma, Elselijn (2014) Naturalism about health and disease: adding nuance for progress. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 39 (6), 590-608. (doi:10.1093/jmp/jhu037).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The literature on health and diseases is usually presented as an opposition between naturalism and normativism. This article argues that such a picture is too simplistic: there is not one opposition between naturalism and normativism, but many. I distinguish four different domains where naturalist and normativist claims can be contrasted: (1) ordinary usage, (2) conceptually clean versions of “health” and “disease,” (3) the operationalization of dysfunction, and (4) the justification for that operationalization. In the process I present new arguments in response to Schwartz (2007) and Hausman (2012) and expose a link between the arguments made by Schwartz (2007) and Kingma (2010). Distinguishing naturalist claims at these four domains will allow us to make progress by (1) providing more nuanced, intermediate positions about a possible role for values in health and disease; and (2) assisting in the addressing of relativistic worries about the value-ladenness of health and disease.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 4 November 2014
Published date: December 2014
Organisations: Philosophy

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Local EPrints ID: 394297
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/394297
ISSN: 0360-5310
PURE UUID: 12ca2f2b-cb81-4b2d-9dde-48ac5ff2ec3e

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Date deposited: 13 May 2016 11:04
Last modified: 03 Feb 2020 17:33

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Author: Elselijn Kingma

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