HPS3004H: Philosophy of Medicine
Thursdays 2 - 4
Course Description: This seminar course provides a graduate level introduction to the philosophy of medicine, a fast-growing philosophical field. We will explore both classic and cutting-edge work. In line with the orientation of the field, we will examine metaphysical/conceptual and epistemic questions in medicine and medical research rather than the kinds of questions traditionally asked in the field of bioethics. Also following the contemporary focus of philosophy of medicine, most of the readings are situated in the philosophy of science. Topics explored will include: varieties of medicine (mainstream, alternative) and their critics; the concepts and nature of health, disease, and illness; disease kinds and classification; the philosophy of psychiatry; biomedical science and medical explanation; the methodology of clinical research and epidemiology; the epistemology of evidence-based medicine; clinical reasoning; and values and the social epistemology of medicine. While most readings follow an ‘analytic’ approach to philosophy of medicine, some follow a more ‘continental’ approach.
Classes will consist in a discussion of the course readings with an introduction to the topics provided by the instructor. Links to all required readings will be provided.
Teaching Method: Seminars