Archive | July 2013

CFP: 5th Philosophy of Medicine Thematic: Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice

MS Deadline: March 14, 2014

The role of philosophy in discussions of clinical practice was once regarded by many as restricted to a very limited version of ‘medical ethics’.  But in recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the philosophy of medicine and health care as an intellectually serious and practically significant enterprise.  Controversies about evidence, value, clinical knowledge, judgment, integrity and ethics have required practitioners and policy-makers to confront the epistemic and moral basis of practice, while philosophers have found in these debates ways to invigorate and reframe the investigation of long-standing philosophical problems, about the nature of reasoning, science, knowledge and practice, and the relationships between epistemology and ethics, morality and politics.

The Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice is an international health sciences journal (Impact Factor 1.52) that focuses on the evaluation and development of clinical practice in medicine, nursing and the allied health professions.  It has a large and diverse readership including practitioners and academics from a vast range of areas, and a twenty-year tradition of publishing papers raising epistemological, metaphysical and ethical issues underlying clinical policy and practice.  April 2010 saw the publication of the first thematic issue of the journal devoted entirely to philosophical issues, and May 2013 saw the publication of the fourth of these ‘philosophy thematics’.  In the anniversary year of the journal, we are seeking contributions to a fifth thematic issue in philosophy.  Papers are particularly welcome on the following themes:

1.       Philosophy and clinical practice.  Aside from ethics, what role, if any, does philosophy have at the bedside?  Do discussions of ontology and metaphysics have any place in the education of practitioners?  Recent arguments about ‘Values-based Medicine’ have raised questions about the ‘foundation’ of medicine as a practice but what, if anything, is sui generis to medicine? Is the proper role of applied philosophy to discover the foundations of clinical practice, or is this idea based on a misconception of the proper scope and limits of philosophical questioning?

2.       The ‘particularist turn’ in thinking about health care.  Recent attention given to personalised and person-centred medicine represents a shift in focus from acquiring statistically reliable knowledge of a general nature to an interest in the complex and potentially unique features of real cases.  In bioethics, so-called moral particularists have forcefully challenged the dominance of traditional, principle-based normative theories, arguing that only the exercise of discernment on a case-by-case basis can do justice to the specific, morally relevant features of real cases. These developments are accompanied by a renewed interest in narrative explanation and casuistry – but does the focus on the particular represent a coherent and progressive development or a distraction from the need for universally applicable standards of efficient and effective health care?

However, we welcome papers that do not fit neatly into either of these themes, but represent excellent examples of the application of philosophy to questions of substantive import in medicine and healthcare.

Manuscripts can be submitted online at: – please mark the submissions clearly with the words “Philosophy thematic issue”.

The deadline for submission of manuscripts is 1st March 2014.  Original papers are usually no more than 5000 words in length, and detailed author guidelines are available at

Inquiries: please contact Kirstin Borgerson ( or Robyn Bluhm (

Workshop: Illness, Narrative and Phenomenology – 9 July 2013

Medical Humanities Cluster Workshop, 9 July 2013
University of Bristol
9.30-10:00 Coffee
10:00-11:00 Session 1
Anthony Lesser (University of Manchester), Can the progress of an illness be unconsciously controlled?
Karin Eli (University of Oxford), ‘The body remembers’: embodied reconciliations of disorder and recovery
11.00-12.00 Session 2
Victoria Bates (Exeter & Bristol), ‘This murderous maternal creature’: mothers and Münchausen Syndrome by proxy in American crime fiction
Michael Flexer (University of Leeds), Death of the memoirist: schizophrenia, semiotics and the illusion of illness narratives
12.00-1.00 Session 3 Ian James Kidd (University of Durham), Experiences of Illness and Narratives of Edification
Antonio Casado da Rocha (University of the Basque Country at San Sebastián), Narrative oncology and the modeling over time of clinical relationships in palliative care
1.00-2.00 Lunch
2.00-3.00 Session 4
Laura Salisbury (Birkbeck College, London), Aphasia: a language for illness from a confusion of tongues
John Foot (UCL & Bristol), Negated institutions? The anti-asylum movement in Italy, 1961-1972
3.00-3.30 Coffee
3.30-4.30 Session 5
Arianna Introna (University of Stirling) ‘Living in so comfortable a cell’: escaping the bare life of illness and disability in William Soutar’s Diaries of a Dying Man
Elizabeth Barry (University of Warwick), ‘I’ve been waiting for it all my life’: Samuel Beckett and the phenomenology of old age
5.00-6.15 Keynote Brian Hurwitz (King’s College, London), Sentiment and spectatorship in James Parkinson’s An Essay on the Shaking Palsy (1817)
6.15 Drinks & dinner
We thank the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Arts, Department of English and Institute for Advanced Studies for supporting the workshop.
Workshop venue: Verdon-Smith Room Institute for Advanced Studies Royal Fort House University of Bristol Bristol BS8 1UJ
The workshop is free but places are limited and registration is essential. Lunch and coffee will be provided. To register, please email both organisers, Dr Havi Carel ( and Dr Ulrika Maude (
For maps and directions see