Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 34 (3):171-187 (2013)

Thomas Schramme
University of Liverpool
Ageing is often deemed bad for people and something that ought to be eliminated. An important aspect of this normative aspect of ageing is whether ageing, i.e., senescence, is a disease. In this essay, I defend a theory of disease that concludes that ageing is not a disease, based on an account of natural function. I also criticize other arguments that lead to the same conclusion. It is important to be clear about valid reasons in this debate, since the failure of bad analyses is exploited by proponents of the view that ageing is indeed a disease. Finally, I argue that there could be other reasons for attempting to eradicate senescence, which have to do with an evaluative assessment of ageing in relation to the good life. I touch on some reasons why ageing might be good for people and conclude that we cannot justify generalized statements in this regard
Keywords Ageing  Senescence  Disease  Boorse  Caplan
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DOI 10.1007/s11017-013-9256-2
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References found in this work BETA

Health as a Theoretical Concept.Christopher Boorse - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (4):542-573.
In Defense of Proper Functions.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 1989 - Philosophy of Science 56 (June):288-302.
On the Distinction Between Disease and Illness.Christopher Boorse - 1975 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 5 (1):49-68.
The Foundations of Bioethics.H. Tristram Engelhardt - 1986 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Human Enhancement: Enhancing Health or Harnessing Happiness?Bjørn Hofmann - 2019 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 16 (1):87-98.
Psychopathy: Morally Incapacitated Persons.Heidi Maibom - 2017 - In Thomas Schramme & Steven Edwards (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 1109-1129.
Health as Temporally Extended: Theoretical Foundations and Implications.Ari Schick - 2022 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 44 (3):1-22.

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