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On the relevance and importance of the notion of disease

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Abstract

This paper constitutes a defence of the basic philosophical enterprise of characterising concepts such as ‘disease’ and ‘health’, as well as other medical concepts. I argue that these concepts play important roles, not only in medical, but also in other scientific and social contexts. In particular, medical decisions about health and diseasehood have important ethical, social and economic consequences. The role played is, however, not always a rational one. But the greater is the need for a reconstruction of this network of concepts for the purpose of efficient and rational communication.

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Nordenfelt, L. On the relevance and importance of the notion of disease. Theoretical Medicine 14, 15–26 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00993985

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