La théorie biostatistique, l’objection des dysfonctions bénignes et l’enjeu de la portée pratique des concepts de santé et de pathologie

This paper reinforces Jerome Wakefield’s “benign dysfunction objection” to Christopher Boorse’s biostatistical theory, by presenting a version of it that takes note of an important critique of conceptual analysis as a goal for a theory of health and pathology. This objection targets the consideration by Boorse’s theory that a dysfunction of a part of an organism is sufficient for the pathology of that organism. Placing his critique within the methodological framework of conceptual analysis, Wakefield argues that this aspect of Boorse’s theory is problematic in relation to dysfunctions that, because they are benign, are not considered pathological by medicine. I present a version of the benign dysfunction objection that incorporates the methodological contributions of philosophical explanation as characterized by Peter Schwartz. I submit that its consideration of benign dysfunctions as pathological renders Boorse’s theory unable to account for the practical significance that the concepts of health and pathology have in Western medicine.

This content has been updated on 6 October 2022 at 11 h 46 min.