Re: Aging isn't a disease

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sat Oct 13 2001 - 11:07:51 MDT

Anders made this comment (in the Meritocracy thread), but
I'm relocating it back to the aging discussion for the sake
of archive continuity:

I said:
> Do we have any question that Laura Bradbard from the FDA has
> done the extensive survey that Robert Freitas has done
> to begin a rational classification of what "is" or "is not"
> a "disease"?

Anders replied:
> Actually, I think she is basing her statement on a long debate in the
> community of medical philosophers that has largely reached a conclusion
> like this. She might not have come up with it on her own, but it is the
> result of quite some thinking.

Yes, the problem is that the foundation on which thinking has
been done is shifting rapidly. This is pointed out by the recent
article by James Hughes in the Journal of Evolution and Technology:

"The Future of Death: Cryonics and the Telos of Liberal Individualism"
(the site appears offline right now unfortunately)

(Its a good article, I highly recomend it.)

> In fact, Robert is the lone outsider I think most medical philosophers
> would regard as badly informed and educated. We might agree with his
> views and think they make sense, but to convince the rest of people
> involved in this issue requires a lot of writing and debating, extending
> and refining the ideas enormously.

I tend to trust that when Robert "surveys" something he does a very
detailed job of it. While Nanomedicine does not go into the history
of some of these concepts in detail, I expect the cited references do.
Now of course there probably only a few dozen to a few hundred people
alive on the planet familiar enough with that body of literature to
discuss it productively, so I doubt the concepts will move forward
as rapidly as we might desire. As the Hughes article points out
the "biofundamentalists" are going to be very resistant to what
is coming.


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