Philosophy of Medicine

Edited by Maya J. Goldenberg (University of Guelph)
Assistant editor: Jaipreet Mattu (University of Western Ontario)
About this topic
Summary

The philosophy of medicine is a subset of the philosophy of science that examines medical science and practice. Such reflection invites consideration of the nature of medicine—is it a rule-governed science or does the contingency of medical practice make it more of an art? Most would agree that medical science lacks the explanatory power of the physical sciences, but its grounding in robust bodies of life and health science research suggests something more systematic than praxis. As an alternative, medical science and medical practice can be regarded as distinct, as the goal of practice is to improve health while scientific study aims to achieve theoretical understanding. The insurgence of evidence-based methods to medical research over the past two decades, however, has challenged the framing of the goals of medical science. With its focus on outcomes research, clinical research has been largely redirected towards practical end of improving human health.  Philosophy of medicine is typically distinguished from biomedical ethics, although the distinction frequently blurs since it is often normative issues that motivate investigation into more theoretical questions. Fundamental questions addressed by philosophers of medicine tend to be epistemological and ontological by nature--analysis of meta-scientific concepts like reduction, models, theories, mechanisms, and causal inference and inquiry into the nature of health and disease. This humane orientation permitted a fruitful subset of late 20th century philosophy of medicine to diverge from the analytic orientation of Anglo-American philosophy of science to explore phenomenological investigation into the embodied experience of illness and dis-ease. The weighty human and social impact of medical science and practice also encouraged consideration of ethical and policy considerations in close tandem with the epistemic, ontological, and methodological debates that characterize the philosophy of medicine.

Key works

On the concepts of health and disease see Boorse 1977 's claim that they are descriptive concepts. This view is countered by Canguilhem 1989 normative account. On randomization in clinical trials,  see Papineau 1994 on the virtues of randomization versus Worrall 2007 and Vandenbrouke 2004. Evidence-based medicine, which champions randomized controlled trials as the gold standard, has been challenged by Feinstein & Horwitz 1997, Tonelli 1998, and Goldenberg 2006. On causal inference, see the classical debate between Hill 1965 and Fisher 1958, as well as McKay et al 2011. On Bayesian versus frequentist statistics in medicine, see Ashby 2006, Berry 1993, Whitehead 1993 On phenomenological investigations into the experience of illness and suffering, see Cassell 1991, Toombs 2001. On discovery and explanation, see Schaffner 1993 and Thagard 1999. On clinical judgment, see Feinstein 1967, Montgomery 2006.See Engel 1977 ’s influential biopsychosocial model of medicine.

Introductions

Marcum 2008 Gifford 2011

Related categories

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  1. Exploring Metaphor’s Communicative Effects in Reasoning on Vaccination.Francesca Ervas, Pietro Salis, Cristina Sechi & Rachele Fanari - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13 (1027733.):1-15.
    Introduction: The paper investigates the impact of the use of metaphors in reasoning tasks concerning vaccination, especially for defeasible reasoning cases. We assumed that both metaphor and defeasible reasoning can be relevant to let people understand vaccination as an important collective health phenomenon, by anticipating possible defeating conditions. -/- Methods: We hypothesized that extended metaphor could improve both the argumentative and the communicative effects of the message. We designed an empirical study to test our main hypotheses: participants (N = 196, (...)
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  2. Why Mental Disorders are not Like Software Bugs.Harriet Fagerberg - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (4):661-682.
    According to the Argument for Autonomous Mental Disorder, mental disorder can occur in the absence of brain disorder, just as software problems can occur in the absence of hardware problems in a computer. This article argues that the AAMD is unsound. I begin by introducing the “natural dysfunction analysis” of disorder, before outlining the AAMD. I then analyze the necessary conditions for realizer autonomous dysfunction. Building on this, I show that software functions disassociate from hardware functions in a way that (...)
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  3. Half a century of bioethics and philosophy of medicine: A topic‐modeling study.Piotr Bystranowski, Vilius Dranseika & Tomasz Żuradzki - 2022 - Bioethics 36 (9):902-925.
    Topic modeling—a text‐mining technique often used to uncover thematic structures in large collections of texts—has been increasingly frequently used in the context of the analysis of scholarly output. In this study, we construct a corpus of 19,488 texts published since 1971 in seven leading journals in the field of bioethics and philosophy of medicine, and we use a machine learning algorithm to identify almost 100 topics representing distinct themes of interest in the field. On the basis of intertopic correlations, we (...)
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  4. Internet Use and Healthcare.László Ropolyi - 2021 - In Dagmar Eigner (ed.), Wahrnehmung, Kommunikation und Resonanz. Beiträge zur Medical Anthropology, Band 4. Perception, Communication, and Resonance. Contributions to Medical Anthropology, Volume 4. Wien: Schriftenreihe der Landesverteidigungsakademie. pp. 173-192.
    The medical use of computing and information and communication technologies (ICTs) has a history of several decades, but the emergence of the internet, and especially the web and social media, created a new situation. As a result, currently the term eHealth is widely used – and the usage of the internet (and mobile) “technologies” in healthcare (among the patients and professionals, too) tends to be usual practice. There are more and more signs of the institutionalization of this new sub-disciplinary field (...)
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  5. A fictionalist account of open label placebo.Doug Hardman - forthcoming - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.
    The placebo effect is now generally defined widely as an individual’s response to the psychosocial context of a clinical treatment, as distinct from the treatment’s characteristic physiological effects. Some researchers, however, argue that such a wide definition leads to confusion and misleading implications. In response, they propose a narrow definition restricted to the therapeutic effects of deliberate placebo treatments. Within the framework of modern medicine, such a scope currently leaves one viable placebo treatment paradigm: the non-deceptive and non-concealed administration of (...)
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  6. A pragmatic approach to scientific change: transfer, alignment, influence.Stefano Canali - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (3):1-25.
    I propose an approach that expands philosophical views of scientific change, on the basis of an analysis of contemporary biomedical research and recent developments in the philosophy of scientific change. Focusing on the establishment of the exposome in epidemiology as a case study and the role of data as a context for contrasting views on change, I discuss change at conceptual, methodological, material, and social levels of biomedical epistemology. Available models of change provide key resources to discuss this type of (...)
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  7. Abject Object Relations and Epistemic Engagement in Clinical Practice.Helene Scott-Fordsmand - 2021 - Philosophy of Medicine 2 (2).
    This article engages with medical practice to develop a philosophically informed understanding of epistemic engagement in medicine, and epistemic object relations more broadly. I take my point of departure in the clinical encounter and draw on French psychoanalytical theory to develop and expand a taxonomy already proposed by Karin Knorr-Cetina. In so doing, I argue for the addition of an abject-type object relation; that is, the encounter with objects that transgress frameworks and disrupt further investigation, hence preventing dynamic engagement and (...)
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  8. Health Humanities in Medicina: The Auxiliary Stance.Olaf Dammann, Eugenijus Gefenas & Signe Mezinska - 2022 - Medicina 58 (3):411.
    At the core of medicine is the idea to help fellow human beings by improving or even restoring their health. Let us call this the auxiliary stance of medicine—the motivation of medical intervention by reference to a moral obligation to guide our peers in their attempt to live a healthy and productive life. In parallel, the auxiliary stance is also central to public health, with a focus on prevention and health promotion. Taken together, we can view medicine and public health (...)
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  9. Le corps dans la relation de confiance médecin‐patient dans le Corpus Hippocratique.Saja Farhat - 2022 - Ithaque 30:229-244.
    Hippocrate a contribué à l’évolution de la médecine grecque de son temps par ses observations détaillées sur les maladies et leurs effets, en insistant sur l’importance du régime et de l’environnement en ce qui concerne la santé des patients. Il s’est interrogé sur la moralité du praticien, son comportement et son attitude avec son patient afin de produire des normes éthiques solides pour départager sa médecine des conceptions magico-religieuses, des pratiques qu’il estimait douteuses, trompeuses. Certains aspects des textes du Corpus (...)
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  10. Le Serment d’Hippocrate : idéal passé ou idéal futur?Alexandra Larocque - 2022 - Ithaque 30:189-207.
    Hippocrate de Cos, médecin et philosophe, est souvent considéré comme le père de la médecine. Si la représentation d’un Hippocrate comme « père de la médecine » relève de l’inflation mythique, elle est néanmoins révélatrice de l’importance de son héritage. L’objectif de cet article est de rendre compte des différentes versions du Serment d’Hippocrate, ainsi que des versions professionnelles subséquentes, afin de souligner certaines difficultés inhérentes à ce texte. Nous souhaitons également avancer l’idée selon laquelle les idéaux hippocratiques ne sont (...)
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  11. L’anatomie interne dans le Corpus hippocratique.Tristan Reinhardt - 2022 - Ithaque 30:171-188.
    Dans cet article, j’étudie la représentation faite par la médecine hippocratique des principaux organes du corps et du système vasculaire en souhaitant montrer que l’anatomie hippocratique n’est ni le produit de l’observation rigoureuse, ni celui de la pure fantaisie, mais qu’elle a toujours pour fonction de soutenir une théorie physiologique ou une pratique thérapeutique. Je mets d’abord en évidence la correspondance étroite entre certaines descriptions anatomiques parmi les plus détaillées du Corpus hippocratique et la physiologie humorale défendue par plusieurs auteurs. (...)
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  12. Les fondements médicaux et politiques du déterminisme anthropologique dans les traités hippocratiques Airs, eaux, lieux et Maladie sacrée.Léo Melançon-Thibault - 2022 - Ithaque 30:147-169.
  13. L’âme qui tourne comme le cosmos : l’utilisation du terme περίοδος dans le traité hippocratique Du Régime.Nancy Duval - 2022 - Ithaque 30:121-146.
    Le traité Du Régime se démarque des autres traités du corpus hippocratique à bien des égards. Aucun autre texte de ce corpus n’a poussé aussi loin le lien entre le corps humain en tant que microcosme et le cosmos, son macrocosme. Ce lien se manifeste notamment dans de multiples analogies, dans des expressions communes utilisées pour les décrire, ainsi que dans des explications identiques des phénomènes qui les caractérisent. Le présent article enquêtera sur une expression spécifique liant l’homme et le (...)
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  14. Why “sex as a biological variable” conflicts with precision medicine initiatives.Marina DiMarco, Helen Zhao & Marion Boulicault - 2022 - Cell Reports Medicine 10050 (3):1-3.
    Policies that require male-female sex comparisons in all areas of biomedical research conflict with the goal of improving health outcomes through context-sensitive individualization of medical care. Sex, like race, requires a rigorous, contextual approach in precision medicine. A “sex contextualist” approach to gender-inclusive medicine better aligns with this aim.
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  15. Vertrouwen in de geneeskunde en kunstmatige intelligentie.Lily Frank & Michal Klincewicz - 2021 - Podium Voor Bioethiek 3 (28):37-42.
    Kunstmatige intelligentie (AI) en systemen die met machine learning (ML) werken, kunnen veel onderdelen van het medische besluitvormingsproces ondersteunen of vervangen. Ook zouden ze artsen kunnen helpen bij het omgaan met klinische, morele dilemma’s. AI/ML-beslissingen kunnen zo in de plaats komen van professionele beslissingen. We betogen dat dit belangrijke gevolgen heeft voor de relatie tussen een patiënt en de medische professie als instelling, en dat dit onvermijdelijk zal leiden tot uitholling van het institutionele vertrouwen in de geneeskunde.
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  16. Science and Politics in a Time of Pandemic: Some Epistemological and Political Lessons from the Italian Story.Federico Boem & Emanuele Ratti - 2021 - Humana Mente 14 (40).
    Making public policy choices based on available scientific evidence is an ideal condition for any policy making. However, the mechanisms governing these scenarios are complex, non-linear, and, alongside the medical-health and epidemiological issues, involve socio-economic, political, communicative, informational, ethical and epistemological aspects. In this article we analyze the role of scientific evidence when implementing political decisions that strictly depend on it, as in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. In carrying out this analysis, we will focus above all on the (...)
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  17. The value of consciousness in medicine.Diane O'Leary - 2021 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind, Volume 1. Oxford, UK: pp. 65-85.
    We generally accept that medicine’s conceptual and ethical foundations are grounded in recognition of personhood. With patients in vegetative state, however, we’ve understood that the ethical implications of phenomenal consciousness are distinct from those of personhood. This suggests a need to reconsider medicine’s foundations. What is the role for recognition of consciousness (rather than personhood) in grounding the moral value of medicine and the specific demands of clinical ethics? I suggest that, according to holism, the moral value of medicine is (...)
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  18. El Corpus Hipocrático y la historia de la medicina como institución social.Biani Paola Sánchez López -
  19. From Engel to Enactivism: Contextualizing the Biopsychosocial Model.Awais Aftab & Kristopher Nielsen - 2021 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 17 (2):(M2)5-22.
    In this article we offer a two-part commentary on Bolton and Gillett’s reconceptualization of Engel’s biopsychosocial model. In the first section we present a conceptual and historical assessment of the biopsychosocial model that differs from the analysis by Bolton and Gillett. Specifically, we point out that Engel in his vision of the biopsychosocial model was less concerned with the ontological possibility and nature of psychosocial causes, and more concerned with psychosocial influences in the form of illness interpretation and presentation, sick (...)
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  20. Introduction to the book Symposium on The Biopsychosocial Model of Health and Disease by guest editors.Maria Cristina Amoretti & Elisabetta Lalumera - 2021 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 17 (2):(M1)5-8.
    Introduction to the book symposium “THE BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL MODEL OF HEALTH AND DISEASE: NEW PHILOSOPHICAL AND SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENTS BY DEREK BOLTON AND GRANT GILLETT”.
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  21. Value judgments in a covid-19 vaccine model.Eric Winsberg, Stephanie Harvard & John Symons - 2021 - Social Science and Medicine 286.
    Scientific modelling is a value-laden process: the decisions involved can seldom be made using 'scientific' criteria alone, but rather draw on social and ethical values. In this paper, we draw on a body of philosophical literature to analyze a COVID-19 vaccination model, presenting a case study of social and ethical value judgments in health-oriented modelling. This case study urges us to make value judgments in health-oriented models explicit and interpretable by non-experts and to invite public involvement in making them.
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  22. Z historii tureckiej farmacji. Bonkowski Pasza – pierwszy chemik pałacu osmańskiego.Sabire Arik - 2021 - Rocznik Filozoficzny Ignatianum 25 (1):55-70.
    The aim of this article is to present the person and achievements of Miralay Bonkowski Pasha, an Istanbul-born scientist and lecturer of Polish descent, about whose life little is known. Bonkowski’s articles and reports in nineteenth-century periodicals such as: Gazette Mediale d’Orient ; Journal de la Société de Pharmacie de Constantinople : L’Osmanlı and Revue Medico-Pharmaceutique 10/3 constitute the source basis of this article. The literature used in the paper thereof consists of historical studies and takes into account the latest (...)
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  23. What is the environment in environmental health research? Perspectives from the ethics of science.David M. Frank - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88 (C):172-180.
    Environmental health research produces scientific knowledge about environmental hazards crucial for public health and environmental justice movements that seek to prevent or reduce exposure to these hazards. The environment in environmental health research is conceptualized as the range of possible social, biological, chemical, and/or physical hazards or risks to human health, some of which merit study due to factors such as their probability and severity, the feasibility of their remediation, and injustice in their distribution. This paper explores the ethics of (...)
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  24. Sullying Sights.Ryan P. Doran - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology 35 (2):177-204.
    In this article, an account of the architecture of the cognitive contamination system is offered, according to which the contamination system can generate contamination represen- tations in circumstances that do not satisfy the norms of contamination, including in cases of mere visual contact with disgusting objects. It is argued that this architecture is important for explaining the content, logic, distribution, and persistence of maternal impression beliefs – according to which fetal defects are caused by the pregnant mother’s experiences and actions (...)
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  25. From Obesity to Energy Metabolism: Ontological Perspectives on the Metrics of Human Bodies.Davide Serpico & Andrea Borghini - 2020 - Topoi 40 (3):577-586.
    In this paper, we aim at rethinking the concept of obesity in a way that better captures the connection between underlying medical aspects, on the one hand, and an individual’s developmental history, on the other. Our proposal rests on the idea that obesity is not to be understood as a phenotypic trait or character; rather, obesity represents one of the many possible states of a more complex phenotypic trait that we call ‘energy metabolism.’ We argue that this apparently simple conceptual (...)
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  26. There is Cause to Randomize.Cristian Larroulet Philippi - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (1):152 - 170.
    While practitioners think highly of randomized studies, some philosophers argue that there is no epistemic reason to randomize. Here I show that their arguments do not entail their conclusion. Moreover, I provide novel reasons for randomizing in the context of interventional studies. The overall discussion provides a unified framework for assessing baseline balance, one that holds for interventional and observational studies alike. The upshot: practitioners’ strong preference for randomized studies can be defended in some cases, while still offering a nuanced (...)
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  27. Meaning and Affect in the Placebo Effect.Daniele Chiffi, Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen & Alessandro Grecucci - 2021 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (3):313-329.
    This article presents and defends an integrated view of the placebo effect, termed “affective-meaning-making” model, which draws from theoretical reflection, clinical outcomes, and neurophysiological findings. We consider the theoretical limitations of those proposals associated with the “meaning view” on the placebo effect which leave the general aspects of meaning unspecified, fail to analyze fully the role of emotions and affect, and establish no clear connection between the theoretical, physiological, and psychological aspects of the effect. We point out that a promising (...)
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  28. Pharmacovigilance as Personalized Evidence.Francesco De Pretis, William Peden, Jürgen Landes & Barbara Osimani - 2022 - In Chiara Beneduce & Marta Bertolaso (eds.), Personalized Medicine in the Making. Springer. pp. 147-171.
    Personalized medicine relies on two points: 1) causal knowledge about the possible effects of X in a given statistical population; 2) assignment of the given individual to a suitable reference class. Regarding point 1, standard approaches to causal inference are generally considered to be characterized by a trade-off between how confidently one can establish causality in any given study (internal validity) and extrapolating such knowledge to specific target groups (external validity). Regarding point 2, it is uncertain which reference class leads (...)
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  29. Reasons for endorsing or rejecting ‘self-binding directives’ in bipolar disorder: a qualitative study of survey responses from UK service users.Tania Gergel, Preety Das, Lucy Stephenson, Gareth Owen, Larry Rifkin, John Dawson, Alex Ruck Keene & Guy Hindley - 2021 - The Lancet Psychiatry 8.
    Summary Background Self-binding directives instruct clinicians to overrule treatment refusal during future severe episodes of illness. These directives are promoted as having potential to increase autonomy for individuals with severe episodic mental illness. Although lived experience is central to their creation, service users’ views on self-binding directives have not been investigated substantially. This study aimed to explore whether reasons for endorsement, ambivalence, or rejection given by service users with bipolar disorder can address concerns regarding self-binding directives, decision-making capacity, and human (...)
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  30. Ethical issues of using umbilical cord blood stem cell therapy of John Stuart Mill perspective.Pattamawadee Sankheangaew - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 1.
    This academic paper on Ethical issues of using umbilical cord blood stem cell therapy of John Stuart Mill perspective aim to investigate the new approaches in the treatment of diseases by using umbilical cord blood stem cells. And also to study ethical issues from the use of umbilical cord blood stem cells in the treatment of diseases considered by Mill’s utilitarianism. 21st century, the medical industry was interested in organ transplantation from stem cells especially stem cells from the umbilical cord (...)
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  31. What Must Research Subjects Be Told regarding the Results of Completed Randomized Trials?Maurie Markman - 2004 - IRB: Ethics & Human Research 26 (3):8.
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  32. Do Psychiatric Diagnoses Explain? A Philosophical Investigation.Hane Htut Maung - 2017 - Dissertation, Lancaster University
    This thesis is a philosophical examination of the explanatory roles of diagnoses in psychiatry. In medicine, diagnoses normally serve as causal explanations of patients’ symptoms. Given that psychiatry is a discipline whose practice is shaped by medical traditions, it is often implied that its diagnoses also serve such explanatory functions. This is evident in clinical texts that portray psychiatric diagnoses as referring to diseases that cause symptoms. However, there are problems which cast doubt on whether such portrayals are justified. I (...)
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  33. The Functions of Diagnoses in Medicine and Psychiatry.Hane Htut Maung - 2019 - In Şerife Tekin & Robyn Bluhm (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Philosophy of Psychiatry. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 507-526.
    Diagnoses are central to the practice of medicine, where they serve a variety of functions for clinicians, patients, and society. They aid communication, explain symptoms, inform predictions, guide therapeutic interventions, legitimize sickness, and authorize access to resources. Insofar as psychiatry is a discipline whose practice is shaped by medical conventions, its diagnoses are sometimes presented as if they serve the same sorts of function as diagnoses in bodily medicine. However, there are philosophical problems that cast doubt on whether the functions (...)
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  34. Philosophy and Life Sciences in Dialogue. [REVIEW]Vassil Vidinsky - 2020 - Философия 29:91-94.
    The volume Philosophy and Life Sciences in Dialogue is a result of the IV. International Summer School Bioethics in Context, organized by Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and FernUniversität in Hagen. The book is exemplary in many ways. It contains 11 high-quality articles on fundamental themes and concepts with real philosophical depth – nature, autonomy, the future of trans- and post-humanism, the meta-topic of bioethics and its relations with life sciences. The authors present illuminating historical backgrounds as a context to (...)
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  35. Hilary A. Smith. Forgotten Disease: Illnesses Transformed in Chinese Medicine. (Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University.) x + 232 pp., notes, bibl., index. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2017. £20.99 (paper); ISBN 9781503603448. [REVIEW]Eric I. Karchmer - 2021 - Isis 112 (1):170-171.
  36. The Giant Remains: Mesoamerican Natural History, Medicine, and Cycles of Empire.Mackenzie Cooley - 2021 - Isis 112 (1):45-67.
    Giant bones unearthed throughout the Mesoamerican countryside provoked early modern thinkers to grapple with the earth’s ages, partially syncretizing Nahua histories of human conquest with Spanish colonial medicinal and natural historical knowledge. European naturalists’ willingness to accept the giant remains required them to embrace localized Mesoamerican cosmologies. The fossilized landscape provided evidence that conquest and eradication had happened before at the hands of the peoples whom the Spaniards had conquered in turn. Lost from early modern collections and failing to translate (...)
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  37. Nadine Ehlers; Shiloh Krupar. Deadly Biocultures: The Ethics of Life-Making. ix + 242 pp., notes, index. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019. $27 (paper); ISBN 9781517905071. Cloth and e-book available. [REVIEW]Nancy D. Campbell - 2021 - Isis 112 (1):208-209.
  38. How to Interpret Covid-19 Predictions: Reassessing the IHME’s Model.S. Andrew Schroeder - 2021 - Philosophy of Medicine 1 (2).
    The IHME Covid-19 prediction model has been one of the most influential Covid models in the United States. Early on, it received heavy criticism for understating the extent of the epidemic. I argue that this criticism was based on a misunderstanding of the model. The model was best interpreted not as attempting to forecast the actual course of the epidemic. Rather, it was attempting to make a conditional projection: telling us how the epidemic would unfold, given certain assumptions. This misunderstanding (...)
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  39. Matter Is Not Enough.Francesco Paolo de Ceglia - 2021 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 11 (2):502-527.
    What is life, and where does it come from? The question is very old, but it reemerged in the seventeenth century with the crisis of the Aristotelian-Galenic paradigm. Matter was now stripped of any impulse and capacity for self-organization; therefore, it was necessary to find something that would take into account the strength and information that it seemed to hold, especially in what were considered vital phenomena. Georg Ernst Stahl and Friedrich Hoffmann, both professors in Halle and responsible for two (...)
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  40. Talking therapy: The allopathic nihilation of homoeopathy through conceptual translation and a new medical language.Lyn Brierley-Jones - 2021 - History of the Human Sciences 34 (3-4):121-141.
    The 19th century saw the development of an eclectic medical marketplace in both the United Kingdom and the United States, with mesmerists, herbalists and hydrotherapists amongst the plethora of medical ‘sectarians’ offering mainstream medicine stiff competition. Foremost amongst these competitors were homoeopaths, a group of practitioners who followed Samuel Hahnemann in prescribing highly dilute doses of single-drug substances at infrequent intervals according to the ‘law of similars’. The theoretical sophistication of homoeopathy, compared to other medical sectarian systems, alongside its institutional (...)
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  41. Putting History Back into Mechanisms.Justin Garson - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Mechanisms, in the prominent biological sense of the term, are historical entities. That is, whether or not something is a mechanism for something depends on its history. Put differently, while your spontaneously-generated molecule-for-molecule double has a heart, and its heart pumps blood around its body, its heart does not have a mechanism for pumping, since it does not have the right history. My argument for this claim is that mechanisms have proper functions; proper functions are historical entities; so, mechanisms are (...)
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  42. De la collecte à la collection : le cas croisé de la collection Dupuytren et de la Société d’anatomie de Paris au XIXe siècle.Juliette Ferry-Danini - forthcoming - In Claire Crignon & Julie Cheminaud (eds.), Dupuytren : Musée des maladies. Paris, France: Presses Universitaires de la Sorbonne.
    Aujourd’hui délaissées, parfois devenues gênantes, les collections médicales furent pourtant à l’avant-garde du renouveau de la médecine au début du XIXe siècle, avant que celle-ci ne devienne la médecine telle que nous la connaissons aujourd’hui. Selon une vision courante de l’histoire de la médecine, les collections médicales auraient perdu de leur utilité lorsque la médecine a accédé au statut de science expérimentale, les musées d’anatomie faisant alors place aux laboratoires. Les collections d’anatomie-pathologie comme le musée Dupuytren ne seraient que le (...)
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  43. Recommendation Algorithms, a Neglected Opportunity for Public Health.Lê Nguyên Hoang, Louis Faucon & El-Mahdi El-Mhamdi - 2021 - Revue Médecine et Philosophie 4 (2):16-24.
    The public discussion on artificial intelligence for public health often revolves around future applications like drug discovery or personalized medicine. But already deployed artificial intelligence for content recommendation, especially on social networks, arguably plays a far greater role. After all, such algorithms are used on a daily basis by billions of users worldwide. In this paper, we argue that, left unchecked, this enormous influence of recommendation algorithms poses serious risks for public health, e.g., in terms of misinformation and mental health. (...)
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  44. Hannah Murphy. A New Order of Medicine: The Rise of Physicians in Reformation Nuremberg. x + 262 pp., notes, bibl., index. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019. $50 (cloth); ISBN 9780822945604. E-book available. [REVIEW]Alisha Rankin - 2020 - Isis 111 (4):875-876.
  45. Alex Broadbent: Philosophy of Medicine. New York: Oxford University Press 2019, 278 pp., £19.99, ISBN: 978019061214. [REVIEW]Alexander Mebius - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (1):185-189.
  46. What is Interpretability?Adrian Erasmus, Tyler D. P. Brunet & Eyal Fisher - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology 34:833–862.
    We argue that artificial networks are explainable and offer a novel theory of interpretability. Two sets of conceptual questions are prominent in theoretical engagements with artificial neural networks, especially in the context of medical artificial intelligence: Are networks explainable, and if so, what does it mean to explain the output of a network? And what does it mean for a network to be interpretable? We argue that accounts of “explanation” tailored specifically to neural networks have ineffectively reinvented the wheel. In (...)
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  47. Towards a Contextual Approach to Data Quality.Stefano Canali - 2020 - Data 4 (5):90.
    In this commentary, I propose a framework for thinking about data quality in the context of scientific research. I start by analyzing conceptualizations of quality as a property of information, evidence and data and reviewing research in the philosophy of information, the philosophy of science and the philosophy of biomedicine. I identify a push for purpose dependency as one of the main results of this review. On this basis, I present a contextual approach to data quality in scientific research, whereby (...)
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  48. Doubly Disadvantaged: The Recruitment of Diverse Subjects for Clinical Trials in Latin America.Manuela Fernández Pinto - 2019 - Tapuya 1 (2):391-407.
    Due to its allegedly diverse population and strong doctor–patient relations, Latin America has become one of the most attractive locations for international clinical trials. In the paper, I examine the case of recruitment of women and minority patients to serve as subjects of international clinical trials, through CROs operating in Latin America. In particular, the paper examines some of the strategies that CROs use to expand their services in the Latin American medical market, illuminating the mechanisms through which the current (...)
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  49. Jacqueline H. Wolf. Cesarean Section: An American History of Risk, Technology, and Consequence. 320 pp., notes, bibl., index. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018. $49.95 (cloth). ISBN 9781421425528. [REVIEW]Lara Freidenfelds - 2020 - Isis 111 (2):422-423.
  50. Werner Albert Golder (Editor). Celsus und die antike Wissenschaft. (Sammlung Tusculum.) 911 pp., bibl., notes, index. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018. €79.95 (cloth). ISBN 9783110441659. [REVIEW]Teun Tieleman - 2020 - Isis 111 (2):383-384.
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