What Is Disease?

  • James M. Humber
  • Robert F. Almeder

Part of the Biomedical Ethics Reviews book series (BER)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Christopher Boorse
    Pages 1-134
  3. Michael Ruse
    Pages 135-171
  4. K. Danner Clouser, Charles M. Culver, Bernard Gert
    Pages 173-217
  5. George J. Agich
    Pages 219-246
  6. John D. Banja
    Pages 247-268
  7. Frederik Kaufman
    Pages 269-286
  8. Stan van Hooft
    Pages 287-323
  9. Mark B. Woodhouse
    Pages 325-355
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 357-361

About this book


In What is Disease?, renowned philosophers and medical ethicists survey and elucidate the profoundly important concepts of disease and health. Christopher Boorse begins with an extensive reexamination of his seminal definition of disease as a value-free scientific concept. In responding to all those who criticized this view, which came to be called "naturalism" or "neutralism," Boorse clarifies and updates his landmark ideas on this crucial question. Other distinguished thinkers analyze, develop, and oftentimes defend competing, nonnaturalistic theories of disease, including discussions of the relevance of these concepts to the question of "diseased" sexual orientation and to alternative medicine.

What is Disease? brings concerned readers up-to-date in the debate over the proper definition of "disease," a concept of central importance not only for bioethicists, but also for those throughout clinical medicine, sociology, psychology, and law who deal with disease and its associated problems on an everyday basis.


bioethics ethics health objectivity

Editors and affiliations

  • James M. Humber
    • 1
  • Robert F. Almeder
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Humana Press 1997
  • Publisher Name Humana Press, Totowa, NJ
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-61737-015-1
  • Online ISBN 978-1-59259-451-1
  • Series Print ISSN 0742-1796
  • Buy this book on publisher's site