Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

PHIL 369: Philosophy of Medicine

PHIL 369: Philosophy of Medicine

The Generic Catalog Description

This course investigates philosophical questions concerning the practice of medicine, such as the epistemology of medicine, the nature of health and disease, what is a profession, and the nature of suffering. 

PHIL 369: Philosophy of Medicine

Mark Waymack

When they are mentioned in the same breath, the combination of philosophy and medicine usually brings to mind issues of medical ethics. While the practice of medicine is undeniably textured with ethics, there are also many other philosophical concerns relating to medicine. A more complete philosophy of medicine, therefore, will look at more than just ethics in the most narrow sense. This course begins by examining the epistemological status of medical knowledge. Just what kind of knowledge is it and how does one "apply it"? The course then takes up the issue of medicine as a profession, with the particular query of whether medicine is ceasing to be a profession. Then, the course turns to the technology of medicine, considering whether there might be appropriate limits to our use of those technologies. And finally, building upon the previous sections, the course asks what the proper goals of medical practice are.

Typical Readings:
Montgomery. What Doctors Know
Shelley. Frankenstein
Pence. Re-Creating Medicine
Cassell. The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine
Additional materials are usually assigned and provided in class.