Critical Essay on "Our Unhealthy Obsession with Sickness"

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  872 Words
Date:  2022-05-17


The analysis is aimed at bringing out how Frank Furedi, a sociologist, appears to have applied Aristotelian's knowledge and informal fallacies to support the claims of his thesis. He strongly asserts that the society until today has a newfound perception of sickness instead of healthiness or wellness. The in-depth analysis basically puts focus on four aspects; health's politicization, relating health to human experience, an assumption on likening sickness to health which the society deems it as a normal thing and finally, medicalization. Before progressing with this, it is important to describe the term fallacy to get an overview of what is to be discussed. Fallacies emanate from an instance whereby an author makes wrong reasoning and in the end, the arguments are invalid. In subsequent, Aristotelian's knowledge highlights three categories of disciplines as a blueprint for gauging numerous forms of knowledge. They include; productive, practical and theoretical.

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How Frank Furedi uses Informal Fallacies

Health's Politicization

In this regard, Appeal to Authority is a type of fallacy Furedi uses. It doesn't mean if an authority supports something then it has to be true. A well-structured political system is characterized by a triumvirate of politicians and experienced political analysts. He accuses the political system of giving introspection a nod. This is on the basis of his inner thoughts. He assumes the role of legislation by establishing malicious sentiments. He argues that irresponsible citizens can be gauged through a failure to examine testicles and level of cholesterol in the body. Moreover, he accuses the government of failing to take part in public health initiates. Who doesn't know the role government agencies have played towards enhancing healthiness and wellness in the society? These sentiments are untrue since the government has heavily invested in the healthcare sector.

Relating Health to Human Experience

In this regard, Furedi uses Appeal to Intuition fallacy. He upholds a know-it-all personality which makes him naive. He simply uses his idea of sickness and directly links it to human experiences even without attesting to it. In my own opinion, his ideologies are insensitive. Let's say a breast cancer patient who after ten years survives a traumatizing ordeal. The most appropriate thing to do is to shut up and listen to how the patient narrates her ordeal based on her own health experience. There must be some element of a pedagogical experience for a concept to be treated as valid. With that, the author's line of thought emanating from complaints on how people attest to sickness completely fails to add up.

Normalizing Sickness

Falling ill is usually perceived as an exceptional predicament; there is no one in this world who envies falling sick. In addition, I am still in awe after realizing that Furedi links the two. In fact, as a sociologist, I expect him to be the last person to demonstrate such a high level of presupposition. The type of an informal fallacy he uses, in this case, is called, questionable cause. From a cynical point of view, falling sick becomes imminent for almost every member of the society. This is where Furedi needs to focus on. In the awareness, there numerous type of sickness; respiratory disease such asthma attack, heart-related complications and diet-related diseases such as diabetes mellitus type 2. Notably, Furedi generalizes everything.


Furedi likens medicalization to everyday problems people are likely to encounter. Meanwhile, he asserts that a love affair can amount to illness because it is characterized by emotions and disappointments. He further says, "Even human characteristics are medicalized now." The type of an informal fallacy that suits this area of discussion is commonly known as slothful induction. Even though the author has a point when he relates psychological factors with sickness, the point should not be medicalization on itself. In reference to the fallacy of sloth induction, Furedi eradicates a logical conclusion on the basis of facts that he represents. He should get his facts right by delving into the implications of medicalization rather than on medicalization alone.

How Frank Furedi Uses Aristotelian's Knowledge

From a Practical Perspective

Furedi gels his ideas on medicalization with Aristotle's knowledge. Aristotle, a Greece philosopher advocates for a need of an action plan in any artistic piece. As an author, it is important to relate your ideologies from a practical point of view- Something which members of the society can easily relate to. In other words, he demonstrates that the relationship between human characteristics and medicalization is directly proportional. Furedi portrays a similarity with Aristotle who focuses on the political pillar and its impact to the society. They both view political system as an indicator or determinant of people's lives.

From a Theoretical Perspective

Furedi in his essay "Our Unhealthy Obsession with Sickness," assimilates Aristotelian's theory of illumination. For most members of the society, knowledge is derived from their perception. Furedi formulates ideologies that are based on his own view of sickness. He faults members of their society, accusing them of becoming pioneers of their own downfall. With all these, there is a need for sociologists and psychologists to conduct more comprehensive research to make the world a better place as far as promotion of wellness and healthiness is concerned.

Works Cited

Furedi, F. "Our unhealthy obsession with sickness." Spiked Health (2005).

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Critical Essay on "Our Unhealthy Obsession with Sickness". (2022, May 17). Retrieved from

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