History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences

Naturalism in the Philosophy of Health

Issues and Implications

Editors: Giroux, Élodie (Ed.)

  • Offers the first comprehensive review and critical assessment of the nature and status of naturalism in philosophy of health  
  • Presents an analysis of the implications of the philosophical theories of health for healthcare and for the debate on health enhancement  
  • Explores the notion of biological normativity and of its relevance for the philosophy of health  
see more benefits

Buy this book

eBook 91,62 €
price for France (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-29091-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 116,04 €
price for France (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-29089-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover 116,04 €
price for France (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-80487-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

In a series of papers published in the 1970s, Christopher Boorse proposed a naturalist theory of health, mainly based on a value-free concept of ‘biological function’, a concept of ‘reference class’ and the notion of ‘statistical normality’. His theory has profoundly shaped the philosophical debates on the concepts of health and disease. It could even be said that the numerous criticisms of his 'biostatistical theory' are at the centre of what is usually referred to as the debate between ‘normativists’ and ‘naturalists’. Today, the predominant naturalist theory of health is still Boorse’s biostatistical theory. 

This volume offers the first comprehensive review and critical assessment of the nature and status of naturalism in the philosophy of health. It explores the notion of biological normativity and its relevance for the philosophy of health, and it analyses the implications of the philosophical theories of health for healthcare and the debate on health enhancement. 

In the first section, several contributions identify the kind of ‘naturalism’ the biostatistical theory belongs to and offer further criticisms or possible modifications, such as the concept of function that is required by this theory, and whether a comparativist approach to health is more relevant than a non-comparativist one. The second section explores natural or biological ‘normativity’ and some possible accounts of health that could be based on this concept. The third and final section focuses on the implications of naturalism in healthcare. 'Goals of Medicine’ is the first paper in which Christopher Boorse ventured toward analysing the implication of his biostatistical theory of health on the practice of medicine, the difficult issue of the goals of medicine and the boundary between treating and enhancing. Other papers in this section critically evaluate Boorse’s account and analyse the importance of a positive concept of health.

About the authors

Élodie Giroux is a philosopher of medicine who works mainly on issues about health concepts and epidemiology. Her main interests are history of risk factor epidemiology, philosophy of epidemiology, causation in medicine and public health, health and disease concepts. Besides several papers on history of modern epidemiology, she published Après Canguilhem, définir la santé et la maladie (2010), she edited a special issue on the history of risk factor epidemiology (in Revue d’Histoire des Sciences, 2011) and co-edited Philosophie de la médecine II (with Maël Lemoine, 2012) and Comprendre la vieillesse (with Sarah Carvallo, 2012).

Reviews

“Naturalism in the Philosophy of Health is a comprehensive last word on the current debate between naturalistic and normative conceptions of health and disease. … it will serve well as an senior level undergraduate introduction to the Philosophy of Health or as a text in a special graduate studies course in this field. … It is well worth the read!” (Wendy C. Hamblet, metapsychology online reviews, metapsychology.mentalhelp.net, Vol. 20 (40), October, 2015)


Table of contents (12 chapters)

  • Introduction. Why a Book on Naturalism in the Philosophy of Health?

    Giroux, Élodie

    Pages 1-16

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,94 €
  • Is Boorse’s Biostatistical Theory of Health Naturalistic?

    Lemoine, Maël (et al.)

    Pages 19-38

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,94 €
  • In Search of Normal Functions: BST, Cummins Functions, and Hempel’s Problem

    Forest, Denis (et al.)

    Pages 39-51

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,94 €
  • Comparative and Non-comparative Concepts of Health

    Hausman, Daniel M.

    Pages 53-62

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,94 €
  • What a Naturalist Theory of Illness Should Be

    Schramme, Thomas

    Pages 63-77

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,94 €

Buy this book

eBook 91,62 €
price for France (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-29091-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 116,04 €
price for France (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-29089-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover 116,04 €
price for France (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-80487-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Loading...

Recommended for you

Loading...

Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Naturalism in the Philosophy of Health
Book Subtitle
Issues and Implications
Editors
  • Élodie Giroux
Series Title
History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences
Series Volume
17
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-29091-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-29091-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-29089-8
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-80487-3
Series ISSN
2211-1948
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VI, 229
Number of Illustrations and Tables
3 b/w illustrations
Topics