Health as absence of disease: critique to the functionalist theory of Christopher Boorse

This paper is an introduction to Cristopher Boorse's work. Boorse is a philosopher of medicine who created, in the 70s, the Bioestatistical Theory (BST). In this paper, we look into the structure of BST and its arguments, focusing on its epistemological basis as well as its logical and theoretical reasons for defining health as the absence of disease. After that, we discuss the critics addressed to Boorse throughout these twenty years of theorization by analyzing their actuality and adequacy. We also identify problems and strong points in the BST, bringing up not only the critics to the BST but Boorse's answers as well. Finally, we add some questions that can provide continuity and enrichment to the debate on the concept of health with the aim of exploring its applicability in a general health-disease-care approach, which is extremely necessary at this moment of articulation between biological and eco-social perspectives on health-disease phenomena.

Health concept; Concept of disease; Epistemology; Boorse; Functionalisty theory


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