The Role of Values in Disease

  • Mary Ann G. Cutter
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 81)


A loud point of contention among scholars who have examined the character of disease is the extent to which value judgments are requisite for or are implicit in these concepts. Perhaps this should come as no surprise given the popular presumption that medicine as a science should be value-neutral because any involvement of values means that the enterprise is subjective. Addressing this are those thinkers who hold that there is no need to resort to value considerations to identify, understand, or analyze accounts of disease. On the other side are those who hold that values play a key role in the identification of diseases. This chapter examines the axiology of disease, and specifically whether values are involved in disease and, if so, what are their nature. It argues that values do play a role and that the values that frame disease are stipulative in a limited way.


Somatic Health Disease Concept Medical Judgment Evaluative Component Minimal Brain Dysfunction 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Ann G. Cutter
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ColoradoColorado SpringsUSA

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