Precision medicine and diseases as natural kinds: An epistemological dilemma

Ahti Veikko Pietarinen*, Donald E. Stanley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: The most important advance of precision medicine (PM) has been a specific way to define and understand disease. However, PM may fail to be therapeutically effective if diseases are natural kinds.

Objective: To attest adverse consequences of treatments suggested by PM that do not generalize well.

Methods: Conceptual analysis of PM; Epistemology of clinical reasoning; Cases that show diseases as natural kinds to clash with epistemology of PM.

Results: Contemplation of future research options that could clarify the position of PM under the conception of diseases as natural kinds.

Conclusion: Need for improved design of future interventions that better acknowledge problematic epistemology of PM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-842
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

User-Defined Keywords

  • epistemology
  • evolution
  • inductive reasoning
  • natural kinds
  • precision medicine


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