Philosophy of Medicine

Series Editor:

  • Dov M. Gabbay, King's College London, UK
  • Paul Thagard, University of Waterloo, Canada
  • John Woods, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Edited by

  • Fred Gifford

This volume covers a wide range of conceptual, epistemological and methodological issues in the philosophy of science raised by reflection upon medical science and practice. Several chapters examine such general meta-scientific concepts as discovery, reduction, theories and models, causal inference and scientific realism as they apply to medicine or medical science in particular. Some discuss important concepts specific to medicine (diagnosis, health, disease, brain death). A topic such as evidence, for instance, is examined at a variety of levels, from social mechanisms for guiding evidence-based reasoning such as evidence-based medicine, consensus conferences, and clinical trials, to the more abstract analysis of experimentation, inference and uncertainty. Some chapters reflect on particular domains of medicine, including psychiatry, public health, and nursing.

The contributions span a broad range of detailed cases from the science and practice of medicine, as well as a broad range of intellectual approaches, from conceptual analysis to detailed examinations of particular scientific papers or historical episodes.

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Researchers in all branches of the philosophy of science, as well as graduate students and senior undergraduates as well as medical scientists and practitioners who are interested in methodological issues that arise in the field of medicine


Book information

  • Published: July 2011
  • Imprint: NORTH-HOLLAND
  • ISBN: 978-0-444-51787-6

Table of Contents

Introduction, Fred Gifford
Concepts of Health and Disease, Christopher Boorse
Medical Ontology, Jeremy R. Simon
Theories and Models in Medicine, R. Paul Thompson
Reduction in Biology and Medicine, Kenneth F. Schaffner
Causal Inference and Medical Experiments, Daniel Steel
Patterns of Medical Discovery, Paul Thagard
Evidence-Based Medicine, Robyn Bluhm and Kirstin Borgerson
Group Judgment and the Medical Consensus Conference, Miriam Solomon
Frequentist versus Bayesian Clinical Trials, David Teira
Uncertainty in Clinical Medicine, Benjamin Djulbegovic, Iztok Hozo and Sander
The Logic of Diagnosis, Kazem Sadegh-Zadeh
Conceptual Foundations of Biological Psychiatry, Dominic Murphy
Brain Death, John Lizza
Nursing Science, Mark Risjord
Public Health, Dean Rickles