Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 237–243 | Cite as

Aging as Disease

  • Gunnar De WinterEmail author
Scientific Contribution


In this paper, I will argue that ageing can be construed as disease. First, the concept of disease is discussed, where the distinction is made between two lines of thought, an objectivist and a subjectivist one. After determining the disease conception to be used throughout the argument, it is proposed that senescence could be seen as disease. Three common counterarguments are discussed, none of which appears strong enough to effectively counter the advocated view. In the third section, two potential implications of the view advocated here will be briefly touched upon. These are the quest for a cure or treatment for ageing and the general attitude towards the elderly. It is concluded that, utilizing an objective disease concept, ageing could be seen as a disease. None of the considered counterarguments packs enough of a punch to discard this. The implications are complex and intertwined, but need not be negative.


Ageing Disease Concept Biology Implication 



Many thanks to Dr. Jonathan Grose, whose constructive comments were a great help in improving earlier drafts of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  2. 2.LintBelgium

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