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  1. Why Mental Disorders Are Not Like Software Bugs.Harriet Fagerberg - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    According to the Argument for Autonomous Mental Disorder (AAMD), mental disorder can occur in the absence of brain disorder, just as software problems can occur in the absence of hardware problems in a computer. This paper argues that the AAMD is unsound. I begin by introducing the ‘natural dysfunction analysis’ of disorder, before outlining the AAMD. I then analyse the necessary conditions for realiser autonomous dysfunction. Building on this, I show that software functions disassociate from hardware functions in a way (...)
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  2. What is the Environment in Environmental Health Research? Perspectives From the Ethics of Science.David M. Frank - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88:172-180.
    Environmental health research produces scientific knowledge about environmental hazards crucial for public health and environmental justice movements that seek to prevent or reduce exposure to these hazards. The environment in environmental health research is conceptualized as the range of possible social, biological, chemical, and/or physical hazards or risks to human health, some of which merit study due to factors such as their probability and severity, the feasibility of their remediation, and injustice in their distribution. This paper explores the ethics of (...)
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  3. Sullying Sights.Ryan P. Doran - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    In this article, an account of the architecture of the cognitive contamination system is offered, according to which the contamination system can generate contamination representations in circumstances that do not satisfy the norms of contamination, including in cases of mere visual contact with disgusting objects. It is argued that this architecture is important for explaining the content, logic, distribution, and persistence of maternal impression beliefs—according to which foetal defects are caused by the pregnant mother’s experiences and actions—which in turn provide (...)
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  4. There is Cause to Randomize.Cristian Larroulet Philippi - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    While practitioners think highly of randomized studies, some philosophers argue that there is no epistemic reason to randomize. Here I show that their arguments do not entail their conclusion. Moreover, I provide novel reasons for randomizing in the context of interventional studies. The overall discussion provides a unified framework for assessing baseline balance, one that holds for interventional and observational studies alike. The upshot: practitioners’ strong preference for randomized studies can be defended in some cases, while still offering a nuanced (...)
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  5. Reasons for Endorsing or Rejecting ‘Self-Binding Directives’ in Bipolar Disorder: A Qualitative Study of Survey Responses From UK Service Users.Tania Gergel, Preety Das, Lucy Stephenson, Gareth Owen, Larry Rifkin, John Dawson, Alex Ruck Keene & Guy Hindley - 2021 - The Lancet Psychiatry 8.
    Summary Background Self-binding directives instruct clinicians to overrule treatment refusal during future severe episodes of illness. These directives are promoted as having potential to increase autonomy for individuals with severe episodic mental illness. Although lived experience is central to their creation, service users’ views on self-binding directives have not been investigated substantially. This study aimed to explore whether reasons for endorsement, ambivalence, or rejection given by service users with bipolar disorder can address concerns regarding self-binding directives, decision-making capacity, and human (...)
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  6. Ethical Issues of Using Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell Therapy of John Stuart Mill Perspective.Pattamawadee Sankheangaew - 2021 - Ethics, Value Theory.
    This academic paper on Ethical issues of using umbilical cord blood stem cell therapy of John Stuart Mill perspective aim to investigate the new approaches in the treatment of diseases by using umbilical cord blood stem cells. And also to study ethical issues from the use of umbilical cord blood stem cells in the treatment of diseases considered by Mill’s utilitarianism. 21st century, the medical industry was interested in organ transplantation from stem cells especially stem cells from the umbilical cord (...)
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  7. Putting History Back Into Mechanisms.Justin Garson - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Mechanisms, in the prominent biological sense of the term, are historical entities. That is, whether or not something is a mechanism for something depends on its history. Put differently, while your spontaneously-generated molecule-for-molecule double has a heart, and its heart pumps blood around its body, its heart does not have a mechanism for pumping, since it does not have the right history. My argument for this claim is that mechanisms have proper functions; proper functions are historical entities; so, mechanisms are (...)
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  8. Recommendation Algorithms, a Neglected Opportunity for Public Health.Lê Nguyên Hoang, Louis Faucon & El-Mahdi El-Mhamdi - 2021 - Revue Médecine et Philosophie 4 (2):16-24.
    The public discussion on artificial intelligence for public health often revolves around future applications like drug discovery or personalized medicine. But already deployed artificial intelligence for content recommendation, especially on social networks, arguably plays a far greater role. After all, such algorithms are used on a daily basis by billions of users worldwide. In this paper, we argue that, left unchecked, this enormous influence of recommendation algorithms poses serious risks for public health, e.g., in terms of misinformation and mental health. (...)
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  9. What is Interpretability?Adrian Erasmus, Tyler D. P. Brunet & Eyal Fisher - 2020 - Philosophy and Technology.
    We argue that artificial networks are explainable and offer a novel theory of interpretability. Two sets of conceptual questions are prominent in theoretical engagements with artificial neural networks, especially in the context of medical artificial intelligence: Are networks explainable, and if so, what does it mean to explain the output of a network? And what does it mean for a network to be interpretable? We argue that accounts of “explanation” tailored specifically to neural networks have ineffectively reinvented the wheel. In (...)
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  10. Towards a Contextual Approach to Data Quality.Stefano Canali - 2020 - Data 4 (5):90.
    In this commentary, I propose a framework for thinking about data quality in the context of scientific research. I start by analyzing conceptualizations of quality as a property of information, evidence and data and reviewing research in the philosophy of information, the philosophy of science and the philosophy of biomedicine. I identify a push for purpose dependency as one of the main results of this review. On this basis, I present a contextual approach to data quality in scientific research, whereby (...)
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  11. Overcoming Expert Disagreement In A Delphi Process. An Exercise In Reverse Epistemology.Elisabetta Lalumera - 2015 - Humana Mente 8 (28).
    Disagreement among experts is a central topic in social epistemology. What should an expert do when confronted with the different opinion of an epistemic peer? Possible answers include the steadfast view, the abstemious view, and moderate conciliatory views, which specify criteria for belief change when a peer’s different opinion is encountered. The practice of Delphi techniques in healthcare, medicine, and social sciences provides a real-life case study of expert disagreement, where disagreement is gradually transformed into consensus. An analysis of Delphi (...)
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  12. Paternalism and Factitious Disorder: Medical Treatment in Illness Deception.Anthony Fry & Tania L. Gergel - 2016 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 22 (4):565-574.
    The primary aims are to consider whether a range of paternalistic medical interventions can be justified in the treatment of factitious disorder (FD) and to show that the particularities of FD and its management make it an ideal phenomenon to highlight the difficulties of balancing respect for self‐determination, responsibility and duty of care in psychiatry. FD is usually classified as a mental disorder involving deliberate and hidden feigning or inducement of illness, in order to achieve patient status. Both the nature (...)
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  13. Big Data, Epistemology and Causality: Knowledge in and Knowledge Out in EXPOsOMICS.Stefano Canali - 2016 - Big Data and Society 3 (2).
    Recently, it has been argued that the use of Big Data transforms the sciences, making data-driven research possible and studying causality redundant. In this paper, I focus on the claim on causal knowledge by examining the Big Data project EXPOsOMICS, whose research is funded by the European Commission and considered capable of improving our understanding of the relation between exposure and disease. While EXPOsOMICS may seem the perfect exemplification of the data-driven view, I show how causal knowledge is necessary for (...)
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  14. Rationality and the Generalization of Randomized Controlled Trial Evidence.Jonathan Fuller - 2013 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 19 (4):644-647.
    Over the past several decades, we devoted much energy to generating, reviewing and summarizing evidence. We have given far less attention to the issue of how to thoughtfully apply the evidence once we have it. That’s fine if all we care about is that our clinical decisions are evidence-based, but not so good if we also want them to be well-reasoned. Let us not forget that evidence based medicine (EBM) grew out of an interest in making medicine ‘rational’, with the (...)
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  15. Rhetoric and Argumentation: How Clinical Practice Guidelines Think.Jonathan Fuller - 2013 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 19 (3):433-441.
    Introduction: Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are an important source of justification for clinical decisions in modern evidence-based practice. Yet, we have given little attention to how they argue their evidence. In particular, how do CPGs argue for treatment with long-term medications that are increasingly prescribed to older patients? Approach and rationale: I selected six disease-specific guidelines recommending treatment with five of the medication classes most commonly prescribed for seniors in Ontario, Canada. I considered the stated aims of these CPGs and (...)
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  16. Evidence and Simplicity: Why We Should Reject Homeopathy.Scott Sehon & Donald Stanley - 2010 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 16 (2):276-281.
    Homeopathic medications are used by millions, and hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on these remedies in the USA alone. In the UK, the NHS covers homeopathic treatments. Nonetheless, homeopathy is held in considerable disrepute by much of the medical and scientific community.Many proponents of homeopathy are well aware of these criticisms but remain unimpressed. The differences of opinion run deep, and the debate seems deadlocked. We aim to shed some light on this situation. We briefly recap some of (...)
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  17. Medicine and the Individual: Is Phenomenology the Answer?Tania L. Gergel - 2012 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 18 (5):1102-1109.
    The issue of how to incorporate the individual's first‐hand experience of illness into broader medical understanding is a major question in medical theory and practice. In a philosophical context, phenomenology, with its emphasis on the subject's perception of phenomena as the basis for knowledge and its questioning of naturalism, seems an obvious candidate for addressing these issues. This is a review of current phenomenological approaches to medicine, looking at what has motivated this philosophical approach, the main problems it faces and (...)
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  18. Cancer Cells and Adaptive Explanations.Pierre-Luc Germain - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (6):785-810.
    The aim of this paper is to assess the relevance of somatic evolution by natural selection to our understanding of cancer development. I do so in two steps. In the first part of the paper, I ask to what extent cancer cells meet the formal requirements for evolution by natural selection, relying on Godfrey-Smith’s (2009) framework of Darwinian populations. I argue that although they meet the minimal requirements for natural selection, cancer cells are not paradigmatic Darwinian populations. In the second (...)
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  19. Who Needs Bioethicists?Hallvard Lillehammer - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (1):131-144.
    Recent years have seen the emergence of a new brand of moral philosopher. Straddling the gap between academia on the one hand, and the world of law, medicine, and politics on the other, bioethicists have appeared, offering advice on ethical issues to a wider public than the philosophy classroom. Some bioethicists, like Peter Singer, have achieved wide notoriety in the public realm with provocative arguments that challenge widely held beliefs about the relative moral status of animals, human foetuses and newborn (...)
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  20. What Exactly is Stabilized When Phenomena Are Stabilized?Uljana Feest - 2011 - Synthese 182 (1):57-71.
    The last two decades have seen a rising interest in (a) the notion of a scientific phenomenon as distinct from theories and data, and (b) the intricacies of experimentally producing and stabilizing phenomena. This paper develops an analysis of the stabilization of phenomena that integrates two aspects that have largely been treated separately in the literature: one concerns the skills required for empirical work; the other concerns the strategies by which claims about phenomena are validated. I argue that in order (...)
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  1. Medicine’s Metaphysical Morass: How Confusion About Dualism Threatens Public Health.Diane O’Leary - 2020 - Synthese 2020 (December):1977-2005.
    What position on dualism does medicine require? Our understanding of that ques- tion has been dictated by holism, as defined by the biopsychosocial model, since the late twentieth century. Unfortunately, holism was characterized at the start with con- fused definitions of ‘dualism’ and ‘reductionism’, and that problem has led to a deep, unrecognized conceptual split in the medical professions. Some insist that holism is a nonreductionist approach that aligns with some form of dualism, while others insist it’s a reductionist view (...)
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The Concept of Disease
  1. Wherein is the Concept of Disease Normative? From Weak Normativity to Value-Conscious Naturalism.M. Cristina Amoretti & Elisabetta Lalumera - 2021 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 25:1-14.
    In this paper we focus on some new normativist positions and compare them with traditional ones. In so doing, we claim that if normative judgments are involved in determining whether a condition is a disease only in the sense identified by new normativisms, then disease is normative only in a weak sense, which must be distinguished from the strong sense advocated by traditional normativisms. Specifically, we argue that weak and strong normativity are different to the point that one ‘normativist’ label (...)
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  2. Function, Dysfunction, and the Concept of Mental Disorder.Jonathan Y. Tsou - forthcoming - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology.
    Commentary on Anne-Marie Gagné-Julien, "Dysfunction and the Definition of Mental Disorder in the DSM.".
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  3. An Ontological Argument Against Mandatory Face-Masks.Michael Kowalik - manuscript
    Face-coverings were widely mandated during the Covid-19 pandemic, on the assumption that they limit the spread of respiratory viruses and are therefore likely to save lives. I examine the following ethical dilemma: if the use of face-masks in social settings can save lives then are we obliged to wear them at all times in those settings? I argue that by en-masking the face in a way that is phenomenally inconsistent with or degraded from what we are innately programmed to detect (...)
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  4. Philosophy of Psychiatry.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Jonathan Y. Tsou examines and defends positions on central issues in philosophy of psychiatry. The positions defended assume a naturalistic and realist perspective and are framed against skeptical perspectives on biological psychiatry. Issues addressed include the reality of mental disorders; mechanistic and disease explanations of abnormal behavior; definitions of mental disorder; natural and artificial kinds in psychiatry; biological essentialism and the projectability of psychiatric categories; looping effects and the stability of mental disorders; psychiatric classification; and the validity of the DSM's (...)
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  5. Ethics of Vaccine Refusal.Michael Kowalik - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics.
    Proponents of vaccine mandates typically claim that everyone who can be vaccinated has a moral or ethical obligation to do so for the sake of those who cannot be vaccinated, or in the interest of public health. I evaluate several previously undertheorised premises implicit to the ‘obligation to vaccinate’ type of arguments and show that the general conclusion is false: there is neither a moral obligation to vaccinate nor a sound ethical basis to mandate vaccination under any circumstances, even for (...)
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  6. Life as Normative Activity and Self-realization: Debate surrounding the Concept of Biological Normativity in Goldstein and Canguilhem.Agustin Ostachuk - 2015 - História, Ciências, Saúde - Manguinhos 22 (4):1199-1214.
    The influence of Kurt Goldstein on the thinking of Georges Canguilhem extended throughout his entire work. This paper seeks to examine this relationship in order to conduct a study of the norm as a nexus or connection between the concept and life. Consequently, this work will be a reflection on the approach to life as a normative activity and self-realization. For this, it will be necessary to redefine the concepts of health and disease, and make a crossover between the two. (...)
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  7. Sartrean Account of Mental Health.Jelena Krgovic - 2017 - Theoria: Casopis Filozofskog Drustva Srbije 60 (3):17-31.
    The antipsychiatrists in the 1960's, specifically Thomas Szasz, have claimed that mental illness does not exist. This argument was based on a specific definition of physical disease that, Szasz argued, could not be applied to mental illness. Thus, by problematizing mental illness, the spotlight had turned to physical disease. Since then, philosophers of medicine have proposed definitions applying both to pathophysiological and psychopathological conditions. This paper analyzes prominent naturalist definitions which aim to provide value-free accounts of pathological conditions, as well (...)
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  8. Hegel on Addiction.Katerina Deligiorgi - 2019 - Hegel Bulletin 40 (3):398-424.
    The aim of this paper is to show how certain distinctive elements of Hegel's theory of action can provide a fresh philosophical perspective on the phenomenon of addiction. What motivates the turn to Hegel is a set of puzzles that arise out of contemporary medical and philosophical discussions of addiction. Starting with questions concerning ongoing attempts to define addiction, the paper examines the resources needed for addiction to be classed as a disorder, as it commonly is. Provisionally settling with the (...)
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  9. The dental anomaly: how and why dental caries and periodontitis are phenomenologically atypical.Dylan Rakhra - 2019 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 14 (1):1-7.
    Despite their shared origins, medicine and dentistry are not always two sides of the same coin. There is a long history in medical philosophy of defining disease and various medical models have come into existence. Hitherto, little philosophical and phenomenological work has been done considering dental caries and periodontitis as examples of disease and illness. A philosophical methodology is employed to explore how we might define dental caries and periodontitis using classical medical models of disease – the naturalistic and normativist. (...)
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  10. The Harm of Medical Disorder as Harm in the Damage Sense.David Limbaugh - 2019 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 40 (1):1-19.
    Jerome Wakefield has argued that a disorder is a harmful dysfunction. This paper develops how Wakefield should construe harmful in his harmful dysfunction analysis. Recently, Neil Feit has argued that classic puzzles involved in analyzing harm render Wakefield’s HDA better off without harm as a necessary condition. Whether or not one conceives of harm as comparative or non-comparative, the concern is that the HDA forces people to classify as mere dysfunction what they know to be a disorder. For instance, one (...)
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  11. Renewing Medicine’s Basic Concepts: On Ambiguity.Joel Michael Reynolds - 2018 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 13 (1):8.
    In this paper, I argue that the concept of normality in medical research and clinical practice is inextricable from the concept of ambiguity. I make this argument in the context of Edmund Pellegrino's call for a renewed reflection on medicine’s basic concepts and by drawing on work in critical disability studies concerning Deafness and body integrity identity disorder. If medical practitioners and philosophers of medicine wish to improve their understanding of the meaning of medicine as well as its concrete practice, (...)
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  12. Evolution, Dysfunction, and Disease: A Reappraisal.Paul E. Griffiths & John Matthewson - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (2):301-327.
    Some ‘naturalist’ accounts of disease employ a biostatistical account of dysfunction, whilst others use a ‘selected effect’ account. Several recent authors have argued that the biostatistical account offers the best hope for a naturalist account of disease. We show that the selected effect account survives the criticisms levelled by these authors relatively unscathed, and has significant advantages over the BST. Moreover, unlike the BST, it has a strong theoretical rationale and can provide substantive reasons to decide difficult cases. This is (...)
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  13. Decision and Discovery in Defining “Disease”.Peter H. Schwartz - 2007 - In Harold Kincaid & Jennifer McKitrick (eds.), Establishing medical reality: Methodological and metaphysical issues in philosophy of medicine. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 47-63.
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  14. The Benefits of Prototypes: The Case of Medical Concepts.Cristina Amoretti, Marcello Frixione & Antonio Lieto - 2017 - Reti, Saperi E Linguaggi, The Italian Journal of Cognitive Sciences, 2017 3.
    In the present paper, we shall discuss the notion of prototype and show its benefits. First, we shall argue that the prototypes of common-sense concepts are necessary for making prompt and reliable categorisations and inferences. However, the features constituting the prototype of a particular concept are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for determining category membership; in this sense, the prototype might lead to conclusions regarded as wrong from a theoretical perspective. That being said, the prototype remains essential to handling most (...)
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  15. Saving the DSM-5? Descriptive Conceptions and Theoretical Concepts of Mental Disorders.Elisabetta Lalumera - 2016 - Medicina E Storia 9.
    At present, psychiatric disorders are characterized descriptively, as the standard within the scientific community for communication and, to a certain extent, for diagnosis, is the DSM, now at its fifth edition. The main reasons for descriptivism are the aim of achieving reliability of diagnosis and improving communication in a situation of theoretical disagreement, and the Ignorance argument, which starts with acknowledgment of the relative failure of the project of finding biomarkers for most mental disorders. Descriptivism has also the advantage of (...)
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  16. Schizophrenia and the Dysfunctional Brain.Justin Garson - 2010 - Journal of Cognitive Science 11:215-246.
    Scientists, philosophers, and even the lay public commonly accept that schizophrenia stems from a biological or internal ‘dysfunction.’ However, this assessment is typically accompanied neither by well-defined criteria for determining that something is dysfunctional nor empirical evidence that schizophrenia satisfies those criteria. In the following, a concept of biological function is developed and applied to a neurobiological model of schizophrenia. It concludes that current evidence does not warrant the claim that schizophrenia stems from a biological dysfunction, and, in fact, that (...)
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  17. The Hysterical Anorexia Epidemic in the French Nineteenth-Century.Sara Valente - 2016 - Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 9 (1):22-23.
    The official birth of hysterical anorexia is attributed to the French alienist Ernest Charles Lasègue (1816-1883). Starting from his 1873 article, anorexia as a ‘new’ psychopathological picture is subjected to extensive clinical and theoreticalstudy. This paper is not an analysis about the process through which anorexia was formalized as specific psychiatric condition. Rather, it focuses on another important issue: the possibility that the ‘same’ disorder may have different meaning depending on the historical period considered. Furthermore, it is asserted that the (...)
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  18. Functions in Basic Formal Ontology.Andrew D. Spear, Werner Ceusters & Barry Smith - 2016 - Applied ontology 11 (2):103-128.
    The notion of function is indispensable to our understanding of distinctions such as that between being broken and being in working order (for artifacts) and between being diseased and being healthy (for organisms). A clear account of the ontology of functions and functioning is thus an important desideratum for any top-level ontology intended for application to domains such as engineering or medicine. The benefit of using top-level ontologies in applied ontology can only be realized when each of the categories identified (...)
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  19. ¿Normal o patológico? El enfermo imaginario en tierra de nadie.Alberto Molina Pérez - 2013 - Arbor 189 (763):a068.
    Is the boundary between the normal and the pathological real or fiction? Are health and disease just a matter of fact or are they value-laden? Here we present some examples of how alleged diseases can be invented and propagated by the industry (disease mongering) or by the methodology of medical science itself. We show that the boundary between health and disease is blurred and depends on individual and social representations, culture relative ways of categorising things and people, and by the (...)
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  20. Has Autism Changed?Simon Cushing - 2018 - In Monika dos Santos & Jean-Francois Pelletier (eds.), The Social Constructions and Experiences of Madness. Leiden: Brill. pp. 75-94.
    The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was published in 2013 containing the following changes from the previous edition: gone are the subcategories ‘Autistic Disorder,’ ‘Asperger Syndrome’ and ‘PDD-NOS,’ replaced by the single diagnosis ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder,’ and there is a new category ‘Social Communication Disorder.’ In this paper I consider what kind of reasons would justify these changes if one were (a) a realist about autism, or (b) one were a constructivist. I explore (...)
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  21. Ontologies, Disorders and Prototypes.Cristina Amoretti, Marcello Frixione, Antonio Lieto & Greta Adamo - 2016 - In Proceedings of IACAP 2016.
    As it emerged from philosophical analyses and cognitive research, most concepts exhibit typicality effects, and resist to the efforts of defining them in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions. This holds also in the case of many medical concepts. This is a problem for the design of computer science ontologies, since knowledge representation formalisms commonly adopted in this field (such as, in the first place, the Web Ontology Language - OWL) do not allow for the representation of concepts in terms (...)
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  22. Models of Mental Illness.Jacqueline Sullivan - 2016 - In Harold Kincaid, Jeremy Simon & Miriam Solomon (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Medicine. Routledge. pp. 455-464.
    This chapter has two aims. The first aim is to compare and contrast three different conceptual-explanatory models for thinking about mental illness with an eye towards identifying the assumptions upon which each model is based, and exploring the model’s advantages and limitations in clinical contexts. Major Depressive Disorder is used as an example to illustrate these points. The second aim is to address the question of what conceptual-theoretical framework for thinking about mental illness is most likely to facilitate the discovery (...)
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  23. Effectiveness of Medical Interventions.Jacob Stegenga - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 54:34-44.
    To be effective, a medical intervention must improve one's health by targeting a disease. The concept of disease, though, is controversial. Among the leading accounts of disease-naturalism, normativism, hybridism, and eliminativism-I defend a version of hybridism. A hybrid account of disease holds that for a state to be a disease that state must both (i) have a constitutive causal basis and (ii) cause harm. The dual requirement of hybridism entails that a medical intervention, to be deemed effective, must target either (...)
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  24. From Being Unaccountable to Suffering From Severe Mental Disorder and (Possibly) Back Once Again to Being Unaccountable.Christer Svennerlind - 2015 - Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 8 (2):45-58.
    From 1965, the Swedish penal law does not require accountability as a condition for criminal responsibility. Instead, severely mentally disordered offenders are sentenced to forensic psychiatric care. The process that led to the present legislation had its origins in a critique of the concept of accountability that was first launched 50 years earlier by the founding father of Swedish forensic psychiatry, Olof Kinberg. The concept severe mental disorder is part of the Criminal Code as well as the Compulsory Mental Act. (...)
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  25. Social Construction, Biological Design, and Mental Disorder.Jerome C. Wakefield - 2014 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 21 (4):349-355.
    Pierre-Henri Castel provides a short but richly argued precis of his recently published two-volume 1,000-page masterwork on the history of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Having not read the as-yet-untranslated books, I write this commentary from Plato’s cave, trying to infer the reality of Castel’s analysis from expository shadows. I am unlikely to be more successful than Plato’s poor troglodytes, so I apologize ahead of time for any misunderstandings. Moreover, I cannot assess Castel’s detailed evidential case for his substantive theses.1 I thus focus (...)
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  26. Small Tumors as Risk Factors Not Disease.Peter H. Schwartz - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):986-998.
    I argue that ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), the tumor most commonly diagnosed by breast mammography, cannot be confidently classified as cancer, that is, as pathological. This is because there may not be dysfunction present in DCIS—as I argue based on its high prevalence and the small amount of risk it conveys—and thus DCIS may not count as a disease by dysfunction-requiring approaches, such as Boorse’s biostatistical theory and Wakefield’s harmful dysfunction account. Patients should decide about treatment for DCIS based (...)
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  27. Reframing the Disease Debate and Defending the Biostatistical Theory.Peter H. Schwartz - 2014 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (6):572-589.
    Similarly to other accounts of disease, Christopher Boorse’s Biostatistical Theory (BST) is generally presented and considered as conceptual analysis, that is, as making claims about the meaning of currently used concepts. But conceptual analysis has been convincingly critiqued as relying on problematic assumptions about the existence, meaning, and use of concepts. Because of these problems, accounts of disease and health should be evaluated not as claims about current meaning, I argue, but instead as proposals about how to define and use (...)
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  28. On the Classification of Diseases.Benjamin Smart - 2014 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (4):251-269.
    Identifying the necessary and sufficient conditions for individuating and classifying diseases is a matter of great importance in the fields of law, ethics, epidemiology, and of course, medicine. In this paper, I first propose a means of achieving this goal, ensuring that no two distinct disease-types could correctly be ascribed to the same disease-token. I then posit a metaphysical ontology of diseases—that is, I give an account of what a disease is. This is essential to providing the most effective means (...)
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  29. Are Psychiatric Kinds Real?Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary - 2010 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (1):11-27.
    The paper considers whether psychiatric kinds can be natural kinds and concludes that they can. This depends, however, on a particular conception of ‘natural kind’. We briefly describe and reject two standard accounts – what we call the ‘stipulative account’ (according to which apparently a priori criteria, such as the possession of intrinsic essences, are laid down for natural kindhood) and the ‘Kripkean account’ (according to which the natural kinds are just those kinds that obey Kripkean semantics). We then rehearse (...)
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