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Phenomenology of Medicine and Bioethics at Södertörn University 13-15 June 2018

The rapid development of medical technologies forces us to continually re-evaluate our understanding of health and human nature. Reproductive technologies, genetic diagnosis, organ transplantation, stem cells, psychopharmacological drugs, and other diagnostic and therapeutic technologies, raise existential questions that, arguably, cannot be adequately understood without reference to the rich and complex ontology of human personhood. Persons are not only bodily creatures, but also social and cultural beings. Many well-known scholars of the continental tradition, which includes phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, and post-structuralism, investigate the ways in which nature and culture are intertwined in human life. Though this tradition would appear to be an ideal spring board for rich and illuminating analyses of medical-ethical dilemmas, phenomenology and continental philosophy are rather under-represented in bioethical debates and research.

This conference intends to bring together phenomenologists working with issues in medicine that are, directly or indirectly, tied to medical ethics. Phenomenology is often put in contact with bioethics via philosophy of medicine and medical humanities, and accordingly, relevant conference themes might include: the nature and essence of medical technologies, the clinical encounter, illness, pain, disability, pregnancy, giving birth and dying. Moreover, there is room for dialogue with already established approaches in bioethics, such as caring ethics, feminist ethics, biopolitics and narrative ethics. Ultimately, what is essential from the point of view of the conference is not the label of phenomenology as such, but rather to gather philosophical and ethical analyses that adopt the phenomenological imperative to return to lived experience in a reflective manner. We welcome contributions that make use of phenomenological philosophy in this broad sense as a means to engage with contemporary ethical questions and dilemmas in contemporary medicine.

Keynote speakers:
Ignaas Devisch, University of Ghent
Michael Hauskeller, University of Exeter
Erik Parens, The Hastings Center, New York
Jenny Slatman, Tilburg University
Kristin Zeiler, University of Linköping


Issues in Medical Epistemology

Issues in Medical Epistemology
December 14-16, 2017
University of Cologne, Germany

Description: Philosophizing about medicine is as old as philosophy and medicine themselves. Despite the long tradition of inquiry and speculation, medical epistemology was until recently not often recognized as an area of research in its own right. In recent years, however, the situation has changed markedly, and an increasing number of philosophers now count themselves as specialists in or active contributors to medical epistemology. Medical epistemology is now well on its way to taking form as a distinct and promising area of research, with a recognized set of problematics and theories.

Keynote speakers:
Robyn Bluhm (Michigan)
Bennett Holman (Yonsei)
Barbara Osimani (Munich)
Matthew Ratcliffe (Vienna)

Organizers: Sven Bernecker, Humboldt Professor of Philosophy, University of Cologne, and Dirk Koppelberg, Free University of Berlin,

7th International Philosophy of Medicine Roundtable, June 23-24, 2017 University of Toronto

Clinical Judgment:
Multidisciplinary Perspectives

June 22, 2017
University of Toronto

7th International Philosophy of Medicine Roundtable:
Medicine, Public Health and Healthcare

June 23-24, 2017
University of Toronto

You are warmly invited to attend the 7th International Philosophy of Medicine Roundtable at the University of Toronto, with the theme “Medicine, Public Health and Healthcare”. The Roundtable will include the Ruggles Lecture in the Philosophy of Medicine on June 23, followed by a reception to celebrate recent work in the philosophy of medicine.

Registration is also open for a symposium at the University of Toronto on the preceding day titled ‘Clinical Judgment: Multidisciplinary Perspectives’, featuring perspectives from philosophy, psychology, the humanities, medicine, and medical education research.

Registration for the Clinical Judgment Symposium and for the Philosophy of Medicine Roundtable, as well as information about both events and about accommodations can be found here:

Attendees are encouraged to register and secure accommodation early as June 22-24 falls during Pride Week in Toronto, and accommodations will book up soon.

A list talks can be found below.

We hope to see you there!

Local Organizers: Jonathan Fuller, Benjamin Chin-Yee and Ross Upshur.

Philosophy of Medicine Roundtable Scientific Committee: Rachel Ankeny, Alexander Bird, Alex Broadbent, Havi Carel, Fred Gifford, Harold Kincaid, Miriam Solomon, Julian Reiss, Jeremy Simon, David Teira.

Clinical Judgment:
Multidisciplinary Perspectives
June 22, 2017


Ross Upshur (University of Toronto) with Benjamin Chin-Yee (University of Toronto) – “Clinical Judgment: Surveying the Philosophical Landscape”

Benjamin Djulbegovic (University of South Florida) – “Rational Clinical Decision-Making: Implications for Overtreatment and Undertreatment”

Luis Flores (King’s College London) with Jonathan Fuller (University of Toronto) – “Clinical Judgment: The Bayesian Approach”

Peter Schwartz (Indiana University) – “Clinical Judgment about Disclosure: Should Patients be Told their Comparative Risk?”

Panel – “Evidence, Risk, and Reasoning”
Commentary by Mark Tonelli (University of Washington)
Discussants: Mark Tonelli (moderator), Ross Upshur, Benjamin Djulbegovic, Peter Schwartz and Luis Flores

Paul Thagard (University of Waterloo) – “The Logic and Psychology of Psychotherapeutic Assessment” (coauthor: Laurette Larocque)

Geoff Norman (McMaster University) – “The Role of Experience in Clinical Reasoning: A Psychological Perspective”

Maria Mylopoulos (University of Toronto) – “Adaptive Expertise: Perspectives and Application in Medical Education”

Kathryn Montgomery (Northwestern University) “Knowledge Needed to Treat: Clinical Judgment in a Scientific Field”

Panel – “Philosophy and Psychology of Clinical Judgment”
Commentary by Miriam Solomon (Temple University)
Discussants: Miriam Solomon (moderator), Paul Thagard, Maria Mylopoulos, Geoff Norman and Kathryn Montgomery

International Philosophy of Medicine Roundtable:
Medicine, Public Health and Healthcare
June 23-24, 2017

Ruggles Lecture in the Philosophy of Medicine
Maya Goldenberg (Guelph University), “Reframing the Problem of Vaccine Hesitancy”

Keynote, Philosophy of Medicine Roundtable
Paul Thagard (University of Waterloo), “Explaining Mental Illness”


Alex Broadbent (University of Johannesburg), “What Are Doctors Good At?”

James Krueger (University of Redlands), “Treatment, Cure, and Care”

Jonathan Fuller (University of Toronto), “Medicine Lost in ‘Translation’: The Structure and Aim of Medical Science”

Sean Valles (Michigan State University), “Linking Individual Health and Population Health with a Life Course Concept of Health”

Lynette Reid (Dalhousie University), ““Modes of this Complex Form of Life”: Concepts and Inductive Kinds in Medicine”

Juliette Ferry (Université Paris-Sorbonne), “Toward a Dialogue Between Phenomenology of Medicine and Naturalism”

Margherita Benzi (University of Eastern Piedmont) and Mattia Andreoletti (European Institute of Oncology), “Assessing Causality of Adverse Events During Early-Phase Cancer Clinical Trials: A Philosophical Perspective”

Sarah Wieten (Durham University), “Putting Rigour Back into Pragmatic Trials” (coauthor: Donal Khosrowi (Durham University))

Mary Walker (Monash University), “Population-Level Evidence and Patient-Specific Medical Devices: Evaluating Interventions with Inherent Variation”

Mark Tonelli (University of Washington), “Epistemology of Precision Medicine” (coauthor: Brian Shirts (University of Washington))

Lindley Darden (University of Maryland, College Park), “Representing and Discovering Disease Mechanisms”

Samantha Copeland (NMBU), “Effectual and Mechanistic Reasoning in Medical Research: The Case of Deep Brain Stimulation”

Angela Coventry (Portland State University) and Bryan Cwik (Portland State University), “Locke’s Philosophy of Medicine”

Cecilia M. Calderón-Aguilar (UNAM), “The Place of Surgery in the Philosophy of Medicine” (coauthor: Arantza Etxeberria-Agiriano (UPV/EHU))

Laura Cupples (University of South Carolina), “Patient-Reported Outcome Measures, Conceptual Convergence, and Implications for Policy Making”

Saana Jukola (Bielefeld University), “On Contested Science and the Ideals for Evidence – The Case of Nutrition Research”

Anke Bueter (Leibniz Universität Hannover), “Sex, Drugs, and How to Deal with Criticism: The Case of Flibanserin” (coauthor: Saana Jukola (Bielefeld University))

Atocha Aliseda (UNAM), “Clinical Reasoning as an Integrative Task”

Abraham Schwab (IPFW), “Robust Epistemic Humility”

Elisabetta Lalumera (Università di Milano-Bicocca), “Over-Utilization of Diagnostic Imaging: Conceptual Issues”