In Defense of an Evolutionary Concept of Health

In Defense of an Evolutionary Concept of Health

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One of the most controversial contemporary debates on the concept of health is the clash between the views of naturalists and normativists. Naturalists argue that, although health can be valued or disvalued, the concept of health is itself objective and value-free. In contrast, normativists argue that health is a contextual and value-laden concept, and that there is no possibility of a value-free understanding of health. This debate has fueled many of the, often very acrimonious, disputations arising from the claims of health, disease and disability activists and charities and the public policy responses to them. In responding to this debate, Ananth both surveys the existing literature, with special focus on the work of Christopher Boorse, and argues that a naturalistic concept of health, drawing on evolutionary considerations associated with biological function, homeostasis, and species-design, is defensible without jettisoning norms in their entirety.Boorse offers the following two examples and the general inference that should be drawn from them: A hornet buzzing in ... Nothing in Wrighta#39;s essay blocks the conclusion that the function of the buzzing, or even of the homet, is to frighten the farmer. ... Although failure to exercise is a result of the obesity, and the obesity continues because of this result, it is unlikely that ... deriving from its effect Z may cease to be functional, as did the appendix, if a change in the rest of the organism or inanbsp;...

Title:In Defense of an Evolutionary Concept of Health
Author: Dr Mahesh Ananth
Publisher:Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. - 2012-10-01

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