Concepts and Causes in the Philosophy of Disease

  • Benjamin Smart

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Introduction

    1. Benjamin Smart
      Pages 1-3
  3. The Concept of Disease

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 4-4
    2. Benjamin Smart
      Pages 22-42
  4. Disease and Causation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 43-43
    2. Benjamin Smart
      Pages 70-89
    3. Benjamin Smart
      Pages 90-91
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 92-100

About this book


Disease is everywhere. Everyone experiences disease, everyone knows somebody who is, or has been diseased, and disease-related stories hit the headlines on a regular basis. Many important issues in the philosophy of disease, however, have received remarkably little attention from philosophical thinkers.

This book examines a number of important debates in the philosophy of medicine, including 'what is disease?', and the roles and viability of concepts of causation, in clinical medicine and epidemiology. Where much of the existing literature targets conceptual analyses of health and disease, this book provides the reader with an insight into these debates, and develops plausible alternative accounts. The author explores a range of related subjects, discussing a host of interesting philosophical questions within clinical medicine, pathology and epidemiology. In the second part of the book, the author examines the concepts of causation employed by clinicians and pathologists, how one should classify diseases, and whether the epidemiologist's models for inferring the causes of disease are all they're cracked up to be.


Disease Clinical Medicine Rachel Cooper,statistics conception line-drawing problem etiological function dysfunction Pathological Condition Boorse's naturalism Public Health epidemiology potential outcomes approach Hernan Taubma Broadbent epidemiology health Karl R. Popper metaphysics

Authors and affiliations

  • Benjamin Smart
    • 1
  1. 1.University of JohannesburgSouth Africa

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Pivot, London
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-71621-0
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-55292-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site