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Mon, 07 Mar


Room G35

Harriet Fagerberg (KCL and Humboldt) Disorder, Dysfunction and the Brain

Time & Location

07 Mar 2022, 16:00 – 17:30

Room G35, Senate House, London WC1B, UK


This paper  outlines a theory of pathology as a particular kind of biological  dysfunction: I call them ‘domino dysfunctions’. Domino dysfunctions are  dysfunctions of biological traits which other traits in the body depend  on for their normal function. Because of these biological dependence  relations, when these traits fail, the dependant traits also fail either  by becoming dysfunctional themselves or by becoming as I term it,  ‘somatically mismatched’ relative to their environment within the body. I  contend that this ‘compounding’ feature of pathological conditions has  been overlooked in the philosophy of medicine. I proceed to apply this  account to brain, showing how it yields a fresh take on the nature of  psychiatric disorders, distinguishes brain disorders and brain  dysfunctions, and also provides a view on what it means to ‘healthy’  with brain damage.

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