The epistemology of single cases: philosophical and medical issues

7 December 2018
University of Bologna
Aula Mondolfo, Via Zamboni 38, 3rd Floor


10.00 Welcome and Opening address
Carlo Gentili (University of Bologna)
Raffaella Campaner (University of Bologna): “Why single cases matter: philosophical and medical insights”
Giovanna Cenacchi (University of Bologna): “Why an epistemology of single cases?”

Morning session: Single cases and rare diseases – Chair: Matteo Cerri (University of Bologna)

10.30-11.30 Laura Mazzanti and Maura Foresti (University of Bologna): “My particular phenotype: can we give it a name?”

11.30-12 Coffee Break

12-13 Corrado Angelini (San Camillo Hospital, IRCSS, Venezia): “Two brothers with X-linked Charcot Marie Tooth disease and different lifestyle: one a war pilot, the other disabled”

13-14 Lunch break

Afternoon session: Philosophical perspectives on single cases – Chair: Roberto Brigati (University of Bologna)

14-15 Margherita Benzi (University of Eastern Piedmont): “Causal reasoning about single cases”

15-16 Raphael Scholl (University of Cambridge): “One is the loneliest number: can single-case trials help in personalized medicine?”

16-16.30 Coffee Break

16.30-17.30 Jeremy Howick (University of Oxford): “Mechanism research or clinical observations generating medical discoveries? How fuzziness prevents the question from being answered”

17.30-18.30 General discussion and final remarks – Chair: Cristina Amoretti (University of Genova)

Organizers: Raffaella Campaner ( and Giovanna Cenacchi (

Department of Philosophy and Communication Studies (FILCOM)
Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences (DIBINEM)
PhilHeaD, Research Center in Philosophy of Health and Disease

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