Normality as a Biological Concept

@article{Wachbroit1994NormalityAA,
  title={Normality as a Biological Concept},
  author={Robert Samuel Wachbroit},
  journal={Philosophy of Science},
  year={1994},
  volume={61},
  pages={579 - 591}
}
  • R. Wachbroit
  • Published 1 December 1994
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy of Science
The biological sciences employ a concept of normality that must be distinguished from statistical or value concepts. The concept of normality is presupposed in the standard explications of biological functions, and it is crucial to the strategy of explanation by approximations in, for example, physiology. Nevertheless, this concept of normality does not seem to be captured in the language of physics. Thus attempts at explaining the methodological relationship between the biological sciences and… Expand
Normality as Convention and as Scientific Fact
The concept of the normal is central in modern societies in general and in medicine in particular. Norms are established for body measurements such as cholesterol and body temperature. There areExpand
Normality and Majority: Towards a Statistical Understanding of Normality Statements
Abstract Normality judgements are frequently used in everyday communication as well as in biological and social science. Moreover they became increasingly relevant to formal logic as part ofExpand
Against Normal Function
The concept of normality has been the target of criticism in recent years. Social critics claim that the term carries ideological baggage. Describing individuals or groups as ‘abnormal’ is seen asExpand
Epidemiology and the bio-statistical theory of disease: a challenging perspective
  • É. Giroux
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • Theoretical medicine and bioethics
  • 2015
TLDR
It is shown how important information deriving from descriptive and analytical epidemiology forms part of the authors' contemporary medical concepts of health and disease, and that these elements are not taken into account by BST in a satisfactory way. Expand
What Is 'Normal'? An Evolution-Theoretic Foundation for Normic Laws and Their Relation to Statistical Normality
Normic laws have the form "if A, then normally B." They are omnipresent in everyday life and non-physical 'life' sciences such as biology, psychology, social sciences, and humanities. They differExpand
Conceptual Foundations of Biological Psychiatry
Publisher Summary This chapter presents the conceptual foundations biological psychiatry. The stronger and weaker versions of the medical model adopted by psychiatry are discussed. A minimalExpand
Health, homeostasis, and the situation-specificity of normality
TLDR
It is argued that beyond what Boorse and Hausman have delineated, the situation-specificity of normal function cannot be fully captured in a simple dichotomy between normal and abnormal environment or between relevant and irrelevant situations, and provides a richer picture of what the various situations that affect living organisms’ functional performance can be. Expand
What Is 'normal'? an Evolution-theoretic Foundation of Normic Laws and Their Relation to Statistical Normality. What Is 'normal'? an Evolution-theoretic Foundation of Normic Laws and Their Relation to Statistical Normality
Normic laws have the form "if A, then normally B". They are omnipresent in everyday life and non-physical 'life' sciences such as biology, psychology, social sciences and humanities. They differExpand
Anatomical normality and variability: Historical perspective and methodological considerations
Abstract Having established and classified the laws of nature, scientists gradually achieved the skill of judging what is most typical and what is rare or deviates from the commonly-observed pattern.Expand
Introduction. Why a Book on Naturalism in the Philosophy of Health
The nature, normativity and definition of health and disease are one of the major issues in the philosophy of medicine. First proposed in 1975, the biostatistical theory of Christopher Boorse hasExpand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 16 REFERENCES
Health as a Theoretical Concept
This paper argues that the medical conception of health as absence of disease is a value-free theoretical notion. Its main elements are biological function and statistical normality, in contrast toExpand
Functions as Selected Effects: The Conceptual Analyst's Defense
In this paper I defend an etiological theory of biological functions (according to which the proper function of a trait is the effect for which it was selected by natural selection) against threeExpand
The Meaning of Normal *
  • C. King
  • Medicine
  • The Yale journal of biology and medicine
  • 1945
TLDR
It is generally agreed that scientific research yields its richest rewards to those investigators who take the pains to review carefully the question to which they propose to address themselves and to phrase their queries in a strict and meaningful way. Expand
Evolution, Population Thinking, and Essentialism
  • E. Sober
  • Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
  • 1980
Ernst Mayr has argued that Darwinian theory discredited essentialist modes of thought and replaced them with what he has called "population thinking". In this paper, I characterize essentialism asExpand
Distinguishing genetic disease and genetic susceptibility.
  • R. Wachbroit
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • American journal of medical genetics
  • 1994
TLDR
A general framework, reflecting the structure of biological explanations, is presented and it is concluded that distinctions are objective and are based on the biological facts; they are not "social constructions" nor do they presuppose resolution of philosophical problems regarding causation. Expand
The Structure of Biological Science.
TLDR
The structure of evolutionary theory and the roots of autonomy and provincialism are studied, and new problems of functionalism are identified. Expand
Four decades of scientific explanation
As Aristotle stated, scientific explanation is based on deductive argument - yet, Wesley C. Salmon points out, not all deductive arguments are qualified explanations. The validity of the explanationExpand
Functions
In past columns, we've looked at a variety of consumer products, focusing our discussions on how these products function from a human factors perspective. We have expressed, to say the least, quite aExpand
Evolution, Population Thinking, and Essentialism", Philosophy
  • 1980
The Many Sciences and the One World
...
1
2
...