PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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The Narrowing Expert-Layperson Gap In Public Health’s New “Population Health Framework"

The emerging “population health approach” is radically shifting public health practice. This approach rejects the narrowness of the earlier “biomedical model” approaches to public health, replacing it with new practices emphasizing interdisciplinarity, attention to the social determinants of health, and the explicit pursuit of health equity and social justice. This paper argues that one philosophical implication of the new approach is that it recognizes non-scientist community members as experts, partly due to their knowledge of their communities’ health-related social dynamics. This helps to ameliorate public health’s notoriously problematic expert-layperson epistemic relationships and power relationships.

Author Information:

Sean Valles    
Lyman Briggs College and Dept. of Philosophy
Michigan State University


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