Welcome to What is Health?

This is a place to gather ideas, questions, and evidence about how we come to a definition of health.

Health is a highly sought after goal, both for individuals and societies. A quick search on the internet brings up page after page of sites aiming to educate about health, promote health, sell health. Yet rarely, if ever, in all of this information does one come across a discussion of what exactly we are aiming at when we pursue health.

Like most of us, I too want to live out my live in a state, or process, of health. My life history has gotten me stuck on some basic orienting questions. What exactly do we mean by health? How do we decide on that definition?

This site is a collection of explorations into how we define health. Although there are important questions to be asked about who defines health, this site is more about the what of health.

What contributes to, limits, and constrains what we think of as health? In particular, what are the material aspects of living (human) bodies that influence our definitions of health? In an eclectic and accumulative fashion, this blog seeks out features of living bodies- including their structural elements as well as their relationships to other living bodies and to their environments- that contribute to and constrain how we may productively define health.

This is no mere theoretical inquiry. I hope that this blog provides a space where important questions can be raised that might change the course of public policies as well as medical practices. Bodies are complex, and so is health. To effectively promote health, we need the best, most robust and complete definition of health.

What ought this to be? How should we decide?