Saturday, 25 August 2007

Philosophy of Medicine

During my first year in Kent I'll be teaching the courses of someone on leave: Philosophy of Science, and Logic. What I'll need to do over this year is put together my own courses for future years. Something to do with mathematics, but what will no doubt prove more popular is a Philosophy of Medicine course. I'll use this blog over coming months to jot down thoughts about such a course.

An initial impression is that the field is dominated by bioethics. I'd rather spend some time on other topics: medicine as science, the nature of the medical subject, the nature of illness/disease/wellness, etc.

Some initial references:

An introductory course in philosophy of medicine, A Rudnick

Philosophy in the undergraduate medical curriculum— beyond medical ethics, R Meakin

Philosophy for medical students—why, what, and how, P Louhiala

The Philosophy of Medicine: Framing the Field by Hugo Tristram Engelhardt

Enigma of Health: The Art of Healing in a Scientific Age by Hans-Georg Gadamer

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy

Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine


DrBob said...

Hi David
this sounds very exciting.
The Enigma of Health was the philosophy book which opened all the doors for me - I loved it - led to my continuing exploration of philosophy and changed my understanding of health.
I also found On Stories by Richard Kearney an incredibly significant read - I use quotes from that A LOT when teaching medical students.
Thirdly, Mary Midgley's Wisdom, Information and Wonder was a fabulous challenge to preconceptions about science and a great stimulus for thinking about holism vs reductionism.
I have been very very taken by Deleuze's ideas but find his books difficult. Don't know if this still counts as philosophy but Manuel De Landa's A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History was similarly formative and exciting for me.
I don't know if these are of any interest to you but I just thought I'd give you my personal experience as a doctor exploring this area

david said...

Thanks Bob,

This is just the kind of input I need. This course has the potential to attract quite a lot of interest if I structure it well.

I'm open to suggestions from anyone.

Ron Mawby said...

The writings of Georges Canguilhem might be of interest, especially The Normal and the Pathological. (Canguilhem was a philosopher who received medical training.)