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Extra info for Establishing Medical Reality: Essays in the Metaphysics and Epistemology of Biomedical Science (Philosophy and Medicine)

Example text

However, something negative has happened to this worm. The welfare of the worm or the quality of the worm’s life has been reduced. We can infer this from certain behaviors or non-behaviors on the part of the worm. It may make stereotyped and unsuccessful movements, for instance with regard to reaching a goal that it has started to try to reach. Or it may not move at all. We may also compare this worm with another worm creeping just beside it. The latter worm is lively, it moves around quickly, it is bigger and it seems to be thriving.

It investigates the regularities with respect to what conditions sustain and erode our underlying biological-psychological well being. 44 ROBERT D’AMICO Department of Philosophy, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA NOTES 1 Michel Foucault (1973) speaks of disease as merely a name picking out no real thing or essence and describes his work as a ‘nominalist reduction’ of the concept. Francois Delaporte (1986) begins by asserting that diseases do not exist; only social practices about diseases exist.

It should be understood as showing that whatever is picked out by the concept of disease, these features, physical states, sensations, feelings, preferences, desires, and beliefs, are causally interacting. Though it is a large task to defend and of course beyond this paper, there is at least a plausible argument that features covered by causal explanations such as these are candidates for features of the natural world. Also it is worth stressing that the constructionist’s emphasis on conditioning and indoctrination need not exhaust the ways in which mental states causally interact with the rest of the natural world.

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