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Health, disease and naturalism: Hausman on the public value of health

Health, disease and naturalism: Hausman on the public value of health
Health, disease and naturalism: Hausman on the public value of health
Whether health and disease are value-free concepts is a matter of long-standing debate. This question is relevant to public health ethics because the distinction between health and disease is frequently employed to delineate the public interest or justify state involvement. This article evaluates a recent attempt by Hausman to both defend a naturalistic (or non-evaluative) account of health and disease, and provide an account of the public value of health. I argue that Hausman’s naturalistic account of health cannot be maintained. As well as undermining the naturalist project more generally, this has two specific implications. First, it undermines Hausman’s claim that functional efficiencies—unlike health states—can be ranked in a value-free manner. Secondly, it affects Hausman’s account of the public value of health.
1754-9973
109-121
Kingma, Elselijn
24f1e065-3004-452c-868d-9aee3087bf63
Kingma, Elselijn
24f1e065-3004-452c-868d-9aee3087bf63

Kingma, Elselijn (2017) Health, disease and naturalism: Hausman on the public value of health. Public Health Ethics, 10 (2), 109-121. (doi:10.1093/phe/phx001).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Whether health and disease are value-free concepts is a matter of long-standing debate. This question is relevant to public health ethics because the distinction between health and disease is frequently employed to delineate the public interest or justify state involvement. This article evaluates a recent attempt by Hausman to both defend a naturalistic (or non-evaluative) account of health and disease, and provide an account of the public value of health. I argue that Hausman’s naturalistic account of health cannot be maintained. As well as undermining the naturalist project more generally, this has two specific implications. First, it undermines Hausman’s claim that functional efficiencies—unlike health states—can be ranked in a value-free manner. Secondly, it affects Hausman’s account of the public value of health.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 30 June 2017
Published date: July 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 419034
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/419034
ISSN: 1754-9973
PURE UUID: 211c9ebc-fd89-4dd0-99d1-e0908b74e732

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Date deposited: 28 Mar 2018 16:30
Last modified: 22 Nov 2021 06:15

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