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Antoine Dussault (Researcher, CIRST, Montréal), Towards a Holistic-Functionalist Account of Pathology
27 November 2020 | 16 h 00 min - 17 h 30 min
Antoine Dussault is a philosophy teacher at Collège Lionel-Groulx (Sainte-Thérèse, Québec). He is also a researcher in the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur les sciences et les technologies (CIRST) and a regular member of the Centre de recherche en éthique (CRÉ). His areas of specialization are : philosophy of biology environmental ethics, philosophy of medicine.
This presentation will be about a central dimension of the naturalism/normativism debate in the philosophy of medicine: the issue of whether pathology should be defined (fully or partly) in relation to the prudential concept of harm (e.g. Wakefield 1992; 2014), or exclusively in relation to biological notions of dysfunction and/or abnormality (e.g. Boorse 1997; 2014). I will defend the second approach, but argue, drawing on remarks by Wakefield (2014) and Kingma (2017) on challenges faced by fully functionalist accounts of pathology, that a functionalist account of pathology should focus on dysfunctions occurring at the level of organisms as a whole, rather than on dysfunctions occurring at the level of their parts (as Boorse’s BST and Wakefield’s HDA do). I will give a sketch of what such an account would look like, and situate it with respect to Boorse’s concept of illness (which he contrasts to pathology) and Werkhoven’s (2018) recent dispositional account.
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