Adaptive Preferences: A Philosophical Issue Raised by an Expanded Model of Health

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1 Scopus citations


The concept of adaptive preferences, as a phenomenon that inhibits human flourishing, has received considerable attention in the philosophical literature but not so much in the nursing literature. Yet given the nursing perspective of health, it is a relevant, if not critical, problem for practice as well as an intriguing area for scientific inquiry. As background, I present a review of dominant philosophical models of health from which I synthesize an expanded model of health that integrates naturalist and normative philosophical dimensions. I then present current philosophical work on adaptive preferences and recommend that this philosophical concept represents an empirical health process in need of scientific study in nursing as a discipline focused on health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-206
Number of pages6
JournalNursing science quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • adaptive preferences
  • model of health
  • naturalism
  • philosophy
  • values
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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