Health as a Normative Concept: Towards a New Conceptual Framework
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 1997 Apr; 22(2): 143-160.
One of the main concerns in defining health is determining its status in relation to value. The main proposals in this direction generally assume a strict dichotomy between descriptive and evaluative dimensions. This essay argues that such a dichotomy leads to a theoretical inconsistency, which becomes evident once a definition of health is practically operative. A new conceptual framework uniting these two moments is proposed as an alternative, capable of preserving the fundamental insights of both descriptive and evaluative accounts of health, and of avoiding the theoretical inconsistencies on the level of practical application.
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