Issues in Medical Epistemology

December 13, 2017 - December 16, 2017
Department of Philosophy, University of Cologne


This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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Robyn Bluhm
Michigan State University
Yonsei University
Barbara Osimani
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Matthew Ratcliffe
University of Vienna
University of York


Sven Bernecker
University of Cologne
Dirk Koppelberg
University of Berlin

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Conference Abstract: Philosophizing about medicine is as old as philosophy and medicine themselves. Despite the long tradition in 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.

Possible paper topics include, but are by no means limited to:

  • What is medical knowledge and understanding?
  • How can patients, and the public more broadly, contribute to medical knowledge and understanding?
  • How can clinical reasoning be better understood and evaluated?
  • What are the main problems and prospects for evidence-based medicine?
  • Is evidence-based psychiatry a promising research program?
  • What is the place of epistemic and non-epistemic values in medicine and clinical practice?
  • What is the role of phenomenology and narrative competence in medicine and psychiatry?
  • What is the relation of medical epistemology to both more traditional and new forms of epistemology?
  • How can medical epistemology support and improve medicine and medical methodology?
  • What is the difference between a vaccine and a medication and what is the significance of vaccine skepticism?
  • What is the value and accuracy of diagnostic tests?
  • How should we understand the difference between side effects and intended effects and what is the nature of medical indications?

Abstract Submission: Please send abstracts to Dirk Koppelberg ([email protected]) by September 1, 2017. Abstracts should not be longer than 600 words. Notification of acceptance will be sent by September 15, 2017.

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Freie Universität Berlin

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