Cupcakes and a little philosophy

New cupcake successfully attempted, see picture on CC page. Recipe and ingredients list didn't match but luckily I love a challenge and pulled it off with an Easter Nest Special. On another note, I spent the morning reconsidering Christopher Boorse and his thoughts on illness and disease with their associated moral attachments. Although he wrote this in (1975), 20 years after Talcott Parsons I think that he was essentially saying the same thing, and much more of course. Boorse (1975) suggested that a disease must have  3 distinct properties to be  an illness -  it is serious enough to be incapacitating so 1) it is undesirable for it's bearer 2) it is a title to special treatment and 3) it is a valid excuse for normally critisisable behaviour (Boorse 1975 p61). The last point reminds me of Parson's seminal sick role of course, which, I think is still a useful notions despite being considered outdated by some. There is still and expectation to try to get better, to do the right thing by seeking help, eating well etc etc and then, only then, may you be considered ill and afforded the rights by society to not work and lie around watching soaps - sound familiar?


  1. The argument of trying to get better also relates to being mentally capable of caring and protecting yourself or your dependents. In the case of carer or parent if you didn't try to seek help you would be failing to protect and if you continually didn't seek help for yourself you could be deemed to be mentally incapable of making decisions for yourself. The idea of trying to get better assists the frame of mind and those that continually don't try to get better eventually have not drive to get better!!!!

  2. Yes - Parson's argument that there are rights AND responsibilities, I think still hold water but - also - assume a moral code of behavior that assumes an individual MUST desire to get better leaving out choice to not want to get better.However - when referring to a minor or an individual whose care is charged to the individual - then there is a moral imperative I think.

  3. Completely agree, if it's not linked to mental capacity then the individual has the right to live or not live, get better or worse. And it's there that the vast majority have difficulty accepting a persons right to choose. When once a person may have been sectioned under the mental health act (UK) I now think that the mental capacity act allows a person who has capacity to choose, which also sits better with the medics as they no longer have to keep pursuing treatment if an individual is deemed to have capacity.


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