Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 333–346

Advertisement for the ontology for medicine


DOI: 10.1007/s11017-010-9153-x

Cite this article as:
Simon, J.R. Theor Med Bioeth (2010) 31: 333. doi:10.1007/s11017-010-9153-x


The ontology of medicine—the question of whether disease entities are real or not—is an underdeveloped area of philosophical inquiry. This essay explains the primary question at issue in medical ontology, discusses why answering this question is important from both a philosophical and a practical perspective, and argues that the problem of medical ontology is unique, i.e., distinct, from the ontological problems raised by other sciences and therefore requires its own analysis.


Diseases Metaphysics Ontology Philosophy of medicine Conditions Realism Anti-realism 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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