Events Overview

2nd Peter Sowerby Interdisciplinary Workshop
15 December 2020 – 11:45-20:00

Philosophy in Medical Education: Race, Gender and Bias

The Sowerby Philosophy and Medicine Project invites attendees to an online one-day workshop on philosophical issues surrounding race, gender and bias and how these might best be incorporated into the medical curriculum. This event concludes the event series on ‘Philosophy in Medical Education’.

Time: 11:45 – 20:00 (UK), 15th of December

Place: Online Videoconference (Zoom)

Registration: Please register via Eventbrite by 10:30 on the 15th of December

Timetable (all times UK):

  • 11:45 – 12:00 Welcome
  • 12:00 – 13:05 Katherine Puddifoot (Durham) “The importance of being particular: avoiding generalisations about generalisations in medical education”
  • 13:05 – 13:15 Break
  • 13:15 – 14:00 Astrid Oredsson (Cambridge) “Reducing inequalities in healthcare: the importance of educating medical personnel on testimonial injustice”
  • 14:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break
  • 14:30 – 15:35 Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen (Aarhus) “The Disability and Old Age Trilemma”
  • 15:35 – 15:45 Break
  • 15:45 – 16:30 Nivethitha Ganapathiram (KCL) “Epistemic Injustice and Post-Pandemic Medical Education: how can anthropological perspectives move us towards a fairer future?”
  • 16:30 – 16:40 Break
  • 16:40 – 17:45 Sean Valles (MSU) “For an Anti-Racist Medical Education, Students Must Learn About the Full Range of Racism Varieties, Not Just Interpersonal Bias”
  • 17:45 – 17:55 Break
  • 17:55 – 18:40 Eleanor Byrne (York) “Striking the Balance with Epistemic Injustice”
  • 18:40 – 18:50 Break
  • 18:50 – 19:55 Sherrilyn Roush (UCLA) “Healthy Suspicion: Causes, Correlations, and Proxy Variables”
  • 19:55 – 20:00 Closing Remarks

2020 Annual Sowerby Lecture: Robyn Bluhm
16 December 2020 – 18:30-20:00

What does it mean to be healthy?

Portrait of Robyn Bluhm

Lecture: Professor Robyn Bluhm
Online Videoconference (Zoom). Please register via eventbrite before 17:00 on the 16th of December.


The Sowerby Philosophy and Medicine Project at King’s College London invites attendees to our 2020 Annual Lecture in Philosophy and Medicine. This year, our lecture will take place online on the 16th of December and will be given by Professor Robyn Bluhm of Michigan State University. The winner of the 2020 Peter Sowerby Essay Contest will be announced at the annual lecture.

 

Abstract

Philosophers of medicine have written extensively about the nature of health, with different approaches to the question resulting in very different answers. Health has been defined as the absence of disease, as a state of effortlessness or transparency in one’s experience of one’s body in the world, and as the ability to achieve one’s goals in life. In this talk, I defend a slightly modified version of the World Health Organization’s controversial definition of health as “a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being.” Drawing on work in disability studies and in public health, I argue that the controversy over this definition arises from thinking of health primarily in medical terms.

About the Speaker:

Robyn Bluhm is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University. Her research examines the relationship between epistemological and ethical issues in medicine and neuroscience. She is a co-editor of The Bloomsbury Companion to Philosophy of Psychiatry as well as of the journal IJFAB: International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics.

Past Events

2016 Annual Sowerby Lecture
24 November 2016 – 19:30-21:00

Medical Nihilism: Should we trust medical research?

Lecture: Jacob Stegenga – University of Cambridge History and Philosophy of Science
Comment: Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal

Abstract:

Many prominent physicians and journalists have expressed arguments supporting medical nihilism, which is the view that we should have little confidence in the effectiveness of novel medical interventions. In this talk I assess the case for medical nihilism. Salient arguments are based on the frequency of failed medical interventions, the extent of misleading and discordant evidence in clinical research, the sketchy theoretical framework on which many medical interventions are based, and the malleability of even the very best empirical methods employed in clinical research. To evaluate medical nihilism with care I articulate the general argument in formal terms. If we attend more broadly to our evidence, malleable methods, and background theories, and reason with our best inductive framework, then I argue that our confidence in the effectiveness of most medical interventions ought to be low.

(See this event also on Facebook)

Video Recording

Reading Group: Death and Mortality
17 November 2016 – 16:00-18:00

Convenor: Dr David Galloway

K-1.56, King’s Building, Strand, King’s College London

(See this event also on Facebook)
 

Film Screening

“Children of Men”
 

Surviving the Sirens: Should there be advance directives for people with bipolar?
10 November 2016 – 17:00-18:30

LectureTania Gergel, IoPPN
Comment: Alex Ruck Keene, Barrister

New Hunt’s House, Lecture Theatre 2, Guy’s Campus

Abstract:

Bipolar Affective Disorder is a cyclical condition, with periods of remission and periods of illness, which often involve loss of decision-making capacity and damaging behaviour. For people with Bipolar, a self-binding (advance) directive (SBD), which commits them to treatment during future episodes, even if unwilling, can seem the most rational solution for an imperfect predicament. Nevertheless, efforts to establish a provision for SBDs are hampered by valid, but also paralysing, ethical, clinical and legal concerns. Paradoxically, the rights of people with Bipolar are being ‘protected’ through being denied an opportunity to protect themselves. We will present and discuss a model of an SBD which could represent a legitimate and ethically coherent form of self-determination.

(See this event also on Facebook)

Video Recording

Essay contest reminder
31 October 2016 – 00:00-00:00

2016 SOWERBY ESSAY CONTEST – deadline in 1 week.

Delusional Reasoning
27 October 2016 – 16:30-18:00

LectureMatthew Parrott, KCL Philosophy

King’s Building, K-1.56, Strand Campus

Abstract:

In psychiatric textbooks and diagnostic manuals delusions are typically characterized in terms of impaired reasoning or as manifestations of irrationality. Yet it remains unclear what precisely is irrational about delusional patterns of thinking. In this presentation, we will examine several styles of reasoning exhibited in cases of delusion, some of which, as we shall see, appear surprisingly rational. This suggests, I shall claim, that delusional cognition is far more nuanced than standard textbooks and manuals might lead us to believe.

(See this event also on Facebook)

Video Recording

Reading Group: Death and Mortality
20 October 2016 – 16:00-18:00

Convenor: Dr David Galloway

K-1.56, King’s Building, Strand, King’s College London

(See this event also on Facebook)

Reading:

The following readings will anchor our discussion, in this order, and we’ll see how far we get each time. The papers can be found online, but the first one takes some digging.

Reading beforehand is not required. Feel free to come as you are.

  • Bernard Williams, ‘The Makropulos Case: reflections on the tedium of immortality’
  • Bernard Williams, ‘Unbearable suffering’, in his The Sense of the Past.
  • Ben Bradley, ‘Existential terror’, Journal of Ethics 19 (2015)
  • Adrian Moore, ‘Williams, Nietzsche and the meaninglessness of immortality’, Mind 115 April 2006
  • Galen Strawson, ‘Against narrativity’, in Ratio XVII 4 (December 2004)
  • Samuel Scheffler, Death and the Afterlife
  • Susan Woolf, Meaning in Life

 

After-event Film Screening

“Highlander”

6:30pm – 405 Philosophy Building
 
 

Were you a part of your mother? The Metaphysics of Pregnancy
13 October 2016 – 16:30-18:00

LectureElselijn Kingma, Department of Philosophy, University of Southampton
Comment: Dr. Shree Datta, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, King’s College Hospital

New Hunt’s House, G.12, Guy’s Campus

Abstract:

What is the metaphysical relationship between the gestating organism and its embryo/fetus? I compare two views: (1) the fetal container model: the fetus is not part of but merely contained within or surrounded by the gestating organism; (2) the part-whole model: the fetus is part of its gestator. The fetal container model appears to be the received view. It is widely assumed but, I argue, without good argument; this model needs substantial support if it is to be taken seriously. The part-whole model is not presently defended, but I argue that it derives considerable support from a range of biological and physiological considerations. I conclude that the part-whole model has the upper hand and that, if true, this has important consequences for the metaphysics of persons and organisms and, perhaps, ethics and law.

(See this event also on Facebook)

Video Recording

Reading Group: Death and Mortality
6 October 2016 – 16:00-18:00

Reading:

The following readings will anchor our discussion, in this order, and we’ll see how far we get each time. The papers can be found online, but the first one takes some digging.

Reading beforehand is not required. Feel free to come as you are.

  • Bernard Williams, ‘The Makropulos Case: reflections on the tedium of immortality’
  • Bernard Williams, ‘Unbearable suffering’, in his The Sense of the Past.
  • Ben Bradley, ‘Existential terror’, Journal of Ethics 19 (2015)
  • Adrian Moore, ‘Williams, Nietzsche and the meaninglessness of immortality’, Mind 115 April 2006
  • Galen Strawson, ‘Against narrativity’, in Ratio XVII 4 (December 2004)
  • Samuel Scheffler, Death and the Afterlife
  • Susan Woolf, Meaning in Life

Convenor: Dr David Galloway

K-1.56, Strand Building, Strand, King’s College London

(See this event also on Facebook)

Mortality
29 September 2016 – 16:30-18:00

LectureDavid Galloway, KCL Philosophy

Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Hodgkin Building, Guy’s Campus

Abstract:

Would it be a good thing for us if we were able to lengthen our lives indefinitely, in excellent physical health? Or would we all, even in the most favourable circumstances, choose eventually to die? If we would so choose, then our mortality is not in itself a bad thing, and immortality is not to be desired. I will discuss factors we might consider in making this choice.

(See this event also on Facebook)

Essay Contest
Reading Group Video Recording

Reading Group: Philosophy and Medicine
27 May 2016 – 16:00-18:00

No meeting.

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