Defining dysfunction: Natural selection, design, and drawing a line

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Accounts of the concepts of function and dysfunction have not adequately explained what factors determine the line between low-normal function and dysfunction. I call the challenge of doing so the line-drawing problem. Previous approaches emphasize facts involving the action of natural selection (Wakefield 1992a, 1999a, 1999b) or the statistical distribution of levels of functioning in the current population (Boorse 1977, 1997). I point out limitations of these two approaches and present a solution to the line-drawing problem that builds on the second one.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-385
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Volume74
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Fingerprint

Natural Selection
Line Drawing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • History

Cite this

Defining dysfunction : Natural selection, design, and drawing a line. / Schwartz, Peter.

In: Philosophy of Science, Vol. 74, No. 3, 07.2007, p. 364-385.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{6309ac52cb3641fda9b7c75985ee4157,
title = "Defining dysfunction: Natural selection, design, and drawing a line",
abstract = "Accounts of the concepts of function and dysfunction have not adequately explained what factors determine the line between low-normal function and dysfunction. I call the challenge of doing so the line-drawing problem. Previous approaches emphasize facts involving the action of natural selection (Wakefield 1992a, 1999a, 1999b) or the statistical distribution of levels of functioning in the current population (Boorse 1977, 1997). I point out limitations of these two approaches and present a solution to the line-drawing problem that builds on the second one.",
author = "Peter Schwartz",
year = "2007",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1086/521970",
language = "English",
volume = "74",
pages = "364--385",
journal = "Philosophy of Science",
issn = "0031-8248",
publisher = "University of Chicago",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Defining dysfunction

T2 - Natural selection, design, and drawing a line

AU - Schwartz, Peter

PY - 2007/7

Y1 - 2007/7

N2 - Accounts of the concepts of function and dysfunction have not adequately explained what factors determine the line between low-normal function and dysfunction. I call the challenge of doing so the line-drawing problem. Previous approaches emphasize facts involving the action of natural selection (Wakefield 1992a, 1999a, 1999b) or the statistical distribution of levels of functioning in the current population (Boorse 1977, 1997). I point out limitations of these two approaches and present a solution to the line-drawing problem that builds on the second one.

AB - Accounts of the concepts of function and dysfunction have not adequately explained what factors determine the line between low-normal function and dysfunction. I call the challenge of doing so the line-drawing problem. Previous approaches emphasize facts involving the action of natural selection (Wakefield 1992a, 1999a, 1999b) or the statistical distribution of levels of functioning in the current population (Boorse 1977, 1997). I point out limitations of these two approaches and present a solution to the line-drawing problem that builds on the second one.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=36749090607&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=36749090607&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/521970

DO - 10.1086/521970

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:36749090607

VL - 74

SP - 364

EP - 385

JO - Philosophy of Science

JF - Philosophy of Science

SN - 0031-8248

IS - 3

ER -