Too Much Medicine: Exploring the Relevance of the Philosophy of Medicine to Medical Research and Practice

April 19, 2017 - April 20, 2017
Faculty of Philosophy and Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford

Kellogg College
United Kingdom

Keynote speakers:

Bird Alexander
University of Bristol
Jeremy Howick
University of Oxford
Aronson Jeffrey
University of Oxford
Schwartz Lisa
Dartmouth College
Schwartz Liska
Dartmouth College
Woloshin Stevens
Dartmouth College

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CALL FOR PAPERS: Philosophy and Medicine Conference

Too Much Medicine: Exploring the Relevance of the Philosophy of Medicine to Medical Research and Practice


April 19-21

University of Oxford (UK)


Confirmed speakers:

Philosophers of medicine

Professor Alexander Bird (Bristol, UK)

Medical researchers

Professor Lisa Schwartz and Professor Steve Woloshin (Dartmouth, US)

Professor Ben Djulbegovic (Florida, US)

Professor Jeffrey Aronson (Oxford)

Call for Papers

This cross-disciplinary conference will explore the emerging problem of ‘too much medicine’ (TMM) including overdiagnosis and overtreatment. TMM is likely to benefit from an interdisciplinary perspective for several reasons. One cause of TMM is arguably ‘disease mongering’ where for example risk factors are interpreted as diseases and treated as such. This is related to the philosophical problem of defining disease—without a clear definition of what counts as diabetes or cancer, harmful and costly tests and treatments can be introduced unchecked. Also, the problem of TMM provides a platform for broader issues. For example it highlights the importance of considering values alongside evidence—some might value being given a test even without an improved clinical outcome. The conference seeks to address the problem of TMM issue from an interdisciplinary perspective, especially the interface between medicine and philosophy. Papers engaging with philosophical aspects of the Too Much Medicine question are invited, with potential topics including: the role of evidence based medicine in the Too Much Medicine question,  the values underlying the problem, and unique aspects of the problem in particular branches of medicine. See website for more details:

Selected papers from the conference in a special issue of the Journal for Applied Philosophy.


How to submit an abstract

We welcome abstracts from philosophers of medicine with ideas that may be relevant to medicine, and medical researchers/practitioners with ideas that may be relevant to philosophy are encouraged to submit abstracts.

Abstracts (no more than 200 words) to be sent no later than 28 February 2017 to: Do not include your name on the document to permit blinded review. Please be sure to emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of your talk

How to register if you would like to attend without giving a talk

The cost of the conference is £50 for two days and includes all talks, morning/afternoon tea and coffee, and lunch.

Please reserve your place by sending an email to: philmedlab@mail.comno later than 28 February 2017.



Two £200 bursaries are available for UK students (including graduate students)


Organizing committee


Professor Alexander Bird (Bristol)

Dr. Jeremy Howick (Oxford)

Professor Havi Carel (Bristol)

Professor Alexander Broadbent (Johannesburg)

Dr. Ashley Graham Kennedy (Florida Atlantic)

Dr. Sean Valles (Michigan State)

Dr. Raffaella Campaner (Bologna)

Dr. Alexander Mebius (Oxford)

Medical researchers

Professor Ben Djulbegovic (University of South Florida)

Ms. Charlotte Albury (Oxford)

Dr. Andrew Papanikitas (Oxford)

Dr. Andrew Moscropp (Oxford)

Professor Jeffrey Aronson (Oxford)

And in an advisory capacity:

Professor Edward Harcourt (Oxford).


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April 5, 2017, 9:00am BST

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