The Classification of Diseases

  • William E. Stempsey
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 63)


So far I have argued that the concept of disease is necessarily value-laden. Different sorts of values are involved at different levels in the construction of the concept of disease. Most basically, value judgments are made in the acceptance of any state of affairs as a scientific fact. These foundational values are the values that are epistemically fundamental for the scientific community, and they are usually so well accepted that they remain covert. The covert acceptance of these values is what can tend to make scientists think that scientific facts are simply discovered through observation that is value-neutral. As we go about the business of determining what is to count as a fact, the foundational values remain invisible, as the air we breathe remains invisible to us in the course of everyday life.


Rheumatoid Arthritis Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Etiologic Agent Natural Kind 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • William E. Stempsey
    • 1
  1. 1.College of the Holy CrossWorcesterUSA

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