By Benjamin Smart (auth.)

This ebook examines a couple of vital debates within the philosophy of medication, together with 'what is disease?', and the jobs and viability of thoughts of causation, in scientific drugs and epidemiology.

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That is not to say these conditions should be classified as identical – the same impairment to a natural function might have to be classified and treated differently depending on the age of the patient. Early onset Alzheimer’s and early onset Parkinson’s, for example, are treated as different medical conditions to the Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases suffered by the elderly. 17 Objection (iii) One might reiterate Cooper’s objection to Boorse’s theory, that there are more reference classes than simply age, sex, and species-type (see objection (ii) in this chapter).

This world probably looks exactly like the actual world until the moment the patient has the stroke. There is then a ‘minor miracle’ in the possible world, which permits the stroke not to occur. 0010  Concepts and Causes in the Philosophy of Disease this closest possible world in which the patient does not have a stroke, the patient dies of something else instead. 4 Lewis’s approach to this kind of counterexample is very effective. However, talking of other possible worlds, miracles, and so on, is a little cumbersome in the context of this project.

The natural function of a trait within members of the reference class is the reference class relative effect for which that trait was selected, unless it fails to contribute to individual survival, or reproduction of the organism’s genes. In which case that trait has no function. , a reduction of functional ability, or a limitation on functional ability caused by environmental agents; and (b) is deemed by medicine to have sufficient negative consequences (to a level chosen by the pathologist) to be pathological, where negative consequences are ‘effects that significantly diminish the ability of a part or process in the organism ...

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