Philosophy of Medicine

Philosophy of Medicine

1st Edition - July 2, 2011

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  • Editor: Fred Gifford
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444517876
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080930916

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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.

Key Features

  • Chapters view philosophy of medicine from quite different angles
  • Considers substantive cases from both medical science and practice
  • Chapters from a distinguished array of contributors


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

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

Product details

  • No. of pages: 600
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © North Holland 2011
  • Published: July 2, 2011
  • Imprint: North Holland
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444517876
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080930916

About the Series Volume Editor

Fred Gifford

About the Series Editors

Dov M. Gabbay

Dov M. Gabbay is Augustus De Morgan Professor Emeritus of Logic at the Group of Logic, Language and Computation, Department of Computer Science, King's College London. He has authored over four hundred and fifty research papers and over thirty research monographs. He is editor of several international Journals, and many reference works and Handbooks of Logic.

Affiliations and Expertise

King's College London, UK

Paul Thagard

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Waterloo, Canada

John Woods

Affiliations and Expertise

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

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