ACU-health-cover02.indd Health, Illness and Disease: Philosophical Essays
Edited by Havi Carel and Rachel Cooper
Published by Acumen in 2012

What counts as health or ill health? How do we deal with the fallibility of our own bodies? Should illness and disease be considered simply in biological terms, or should considerations of its emotional impact dictate our treatment of it?

Our understanding of health and illness had become increasingly more complex in the modern world, as we are able to use medicine not only to fight disease but to control other aspects of our bodies, whether mood, blood pressure, or cholesterol. This collection of essays foregrounds the concepts of health and illness and patient experience within the philosophy of medicine, reflecting on the relationship between the ill person and society. Mental illness is considered alongside physical disease, and the important ramifications of society’s differentiation between the two are brought to light. Health, Illness and Disease is a significant contribution to shaping the parameters of the evolving field of philosophy of medicine and will be of interest to medical practitioners and policy-makers as well as philosophers of science and ethicists.


Introduction, Havi Carel and Rachel Cooper

PART I: Concepts of health and disease

1. The opposition between naturalistic and holistic theories of health and disease, Lennart Nordenfelt
2. Health and disease: Social constructivism as a combination of naturalism and normativism, Elselijn Kingma
3. Towards autonomy-within-illness: Applying the triadic approach to the principles of bioethics, Antonio Casado da Rocha and Arantza Etxeberria Agiriano
4. The concept of ‘mental disorder’, Valérie Aucouturier and Steeves Demazeux

PART II: The experience of illness
5. What is phenomenology of medicine? Embodiment, illness, and being-in-the-world, Fredrik Svenaeus
6. Beyond the wounded storyteller: Rethinking narrativity, illness and embodied self-experience, Angela Woods
7. Transitions in health and illness, James Brennan
8. Pain as illness, Elisa Arnaudo

PART III: Illness and society
9. Intersex, medicine and pathologisation, Melanie Newbould
10. Stigmatising depression: Folk theorising and ‘the Pollyanna backlash’, Charlotte Blease
11. Doing health: A constructivist approach to health theory, Britta Pelters
12. Beauty and health as medical norms: The case of Nazi medicine, Sophia Efstathiou

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