Theoretical Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 295–303 | Cite as

Health and adaptedness

  • Ingmar Pörn


The purpose of this paper is to give an explication of the concept of health which does not rely on the concept of disease. The explication is informed by a view of the human individual as an acting subject and it therefore places the abilities of agents in the centre. Abilities may be qualified in different ways. The qualification essential for understanding the dimension of health and illness relates abilities to environmental circumstances and high-ranking projects in the life plan. For this purpose generalized adaptedness is introduced as the overarching construction. The dimension of health and illness is characterized in terms of the adequacy of the repertoire for generalized adaptedness. Some immediate consequences concerning the notion of care are noted.

Key words

adaptedness care generic ability health illness time-specific ability 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingmar Pörn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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