The author aims to focus attention of medical, philosophical, and science of science milieus in Poland to the problem of defining the 'disease'. In the second half of the 20th century, the notion of disease has been largely discussed in monographs, joint publications and articles, particularly by English-speaking authors. This discussion has not been yet acceptably transferred onto the domestic ground. The analysis of many contemporary health and disease concepts proves the existence of three intertwined theoretical plains: first, concerning the examination of the notion of disease and its relation to the sphere of values; second, concerning the status of scientific fact and third, concerning anthropology. The article ponders upon the concepts revolving around the first of the aforementioned theoretical plains, i.e. descriptive and normative theories of disease. The review of selected problems of the contemporary philosophy of medicine serves as a stimulus for concluding the article with the author's own astheneological concept of disease.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.