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Some philosophers of medicine argue that there are objective facts about the biological function of organs, and that these facts are used to objectively define diseases. The function of the heart is taken to be particularly obvious and well established. Contrary to this, I argue that the function of the heart is not fixed by nature, but rather that...
It is widely believed that the function of the heart is obviously to pump blood. I argue here that it is not. The definition, presentation, and pathophysiological explanation of heart failure, as well as the measurement of cardiac dysfunction, are not as might be expected if the function of the heart was simply to pump blood. Far from being obvious...
The measurement of diagnostic accuracy is an important aspect of the evaluation of diagnostic tests. Sometimes, medical researchers try to discover the set of observations that are most accurate of all by directly inspecting diseased and not-diseased patients. This method is perhaps intuitively appealing, as it seems a straightforward empirical way...
Medics may consider worrying about their metaphysics and ontology to be a waste of time. I will argue here that this is not the case. Promiscuous realism is a metaphysical position which holds that multiple, equally valid, classification schemes should be applied to objects (such as patients) to capture different aspects of their complex and hetero...