CFP: Melioratio ad Optimum? Enhancement, the Future of Medicine and the concept of health

Submission deadline: May 2, 2015

Conference date(s):
June 5, 2015

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Faculty of Science, SAHFC, CFCUL, CFCUL, University of Lisbon
Lisbon, Portugal

Topic areas


>Melioratio ad OptimumEnhancement, the Future of Medicine and the concept of health


Workshop organized by Dr. Alexander Gerner and Prof. António Barbosa

5th of June 2015, CFCUL, University of Lisbon, C8.2.39

Research Line CFCUL (2015-2020):

Philosophy of Human Technology (Head: A.Gerner)

confirmed speakers: Vojin Rakic, Center for Bioethics Belgrade, University of Belgrade; Alexander Gerner (CFCUL); António Barbosa (Center of Bioethics, CFCUL, University of Lisbon); Nuno Nabais (University of Lisbon)

This intensive workshop will debate and explore questions raised by factual/ normative/proposed enhancements and enhancement technologies in philosophy of medicine and medical bioethics, neurotechnologies and pharmacology, as well as the challenges that policy- and lawmakers face today in relation to enhancement devices in health related issues. The pursue and perils of radical invasive therapies, as well as Virtual Reality Enhancements will be debated in relation to psychiatry. What changes will enhancement tools, drugs and technologies introduce in (personalized) medicine? Should we go beyond the split between neo-eugenic optimism and bio-conservative pessimism in ethics to contribute to a medical praxis-oriented ethics of (cognitive, corporal, moral or affective) enhancements? What are practical, epistemological, ethical, political and legal difficulties medical praxis is faced in relation to enhancements today and in the future? Will it be still possible to distinguish between therapy and enhancement in medicine and health care in the near future? If so, under what conditions and under which conception of health and medicine? How could our concepts of medicine and health change facing new enhancement drugs and technologies? Should we debate medical therapeutic enhancements, human biomedical alterations, regenerative medicine and life span prolongation in the same terms? What are philosophical ethical and political challenges of personal and human enhancements posed by personalized medicine? Are we heading towards a concept of medicine that can be described as "melioratio ad optimum"?

How do different philosophical frameworks of “enhancement” “self-formation”, “meliorism” etc. question the relation between biomedical facts and individual or societal norms and expectations differently in medical praxis and within different frameworks of health? Do globally accessible enhancement technologies and enhancement drugs call for an extended peer review in “post-normal” science and medicine, including the involvement of a multiplicity of stakeholders in the debate? Does the differentiator  "invasiveness/non-invasiveness" in relation to enhancement technologies still hold in relation for example to Virtual Reality mind/cognitive enhancements? Legally, what does "cognitive liberty" imply for the future of medicine and the concepts of health for example in psychiatry?


We invite the contribution (20min+debate) of participants that are interested to submit a short abstract (250-500 words) plus a short CV (approx up to 300 words) in doc(x) and pdf. Please send your details to both organizers: Alexander Gerner and Prof. Antonio Barbosa [email protected] with the subjectline [+medfuturehealth2015; name] to the symposium (see contact info below) by the 2nd of May 2015. We will answer asap; and for the latest possible submissions on the 5th of May.

A peer-reviewed special issue publication is planned for 2016


Dr. Alexander Gerner

University of Lisbon

Centre of Philosophy of the Sciences at the University of Lisbon (CFCUL)

Science Faculty

Campo Grande

1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal

[email protected]

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