PHI375 - Philosophy of Medicine

2017-18 Outline:

We care about health. On a personal level, maintaining health and staving off disease are central, almost unquestionable values. On a social, ethical and political level, ensuring health and providing medical treatment are among the highest priorities of institutions and governance. Biomedical science has reached a level of dominance in the current scientific and cultural landscape, and exerts considerable pressure on conceptions of health, well-being, and what it is to be human, or what it is to be ‘normal’.

This course focuses on the philosophical challenges of current biomedical science and medical practice, in social and historical context. Working with concrete cases in medical practice and research drawn from current biomedical and technological shifts in medicine, and from history and sociology of science, students will consider epistemological, ethical and political aspects of medicine. We will consider concepts such as ‘disease’, ‘health’, ‘evidence’, ‘therapy’, ‘treatment’, with a strong focus on the ways that philosophy is challenged by medicine as well as how philosophers might contribute to current medical debate and practice.


Annamaria Carusi


50% coursework and 50% exam, or 100% long essay option

Lectures - Spring 2018

Monday 3-4pm - 9 Mappin Street G03
Monday 5-6pm - Jessop West Seminar Room 8

Seminars (from Week 1)

Tuesday 4-5pm - 38 Mappin Street G05 (except from Week 2 13th February which is in 38 Mappin Street G02)
Tuesday 5-6pm - 38 Mappin Street G05