Biology & Philosophy

, 26:603

Understanding pathology in the context of physiological mechanisms: the practicality of a broken-normal view

Discussion Note


The topic of disease mechanisms is of clinical importance, as our understanding of such mechanisms plays an important role in how we approach devising treatments for disease. In this paper, I critique an argument made by Mauro Nervi, in which he asserts that pathology is often better viewed in the context of distinct theoretical mechanisms. I use this critique as a starting point to argue that viewing pathology as a broken-normal, malfunctioning mechanism is more therapeutically practical and more relevant to clinical drug design, than creating a theoretical separation of pathology from physiology.


Mechanism Disease Philosophy of medicine Malfunction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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