Events Overview

Past Events

Induction and Necessary Connections in Medical Research
21 January 2020 – 17:30-19:00

Lecture: Marius Backmann, London School of Economics

Bush House (S) 2.02, Strand Campus

If you do not have a KCL ID, please register (free) at this Link.

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Audio Recording

 
Description:

Some necessitarians have claimed that they could justify induction by
introducing necessary connections. By analysing the reasoning in randomised
clinical trials (RCTs), I argue that this view does not accurately represent
scientific practice.

The basic model of necessitarian solutions to the problem of induction is as
follows: First we infer from the fact that all Fs have so far been Gs via an
inference to the best explanation (IBE) that there is a necessary connection
between F-ness and G-ness. We then deductively infer from this necessary
connection that all Fs are Gs.

Nancy Cartwright and Eileen Munro offer an idealised reconstruction of
randomized clinical trials broadly along these lines. First, we infer from
evidence that a treatment has a ‘stable capacity’, i.e. a modal dispositional
property, to produce an outcome. Second, we deductively infer the efficacy of
the treatment outside the test environment from the existence of this stable
capacity. Cartwright and Munro argue that RCTs alone are no basis to support
these sorts of inferences, and hence do not deserve the status of a gold standard
for medical research.

Against this, I argue we should not try to give a deductive reconstruction of
RCTs. We ampliatively infer the causal relevance of the treatment in the sample
from the fact that the desired outcome is more prevalent in the test group than
in the control group. The further inference that the treatment will be causally
relevant in the population will also always be ampliative, because we cannot
possibly have the necessary information to make it deductive.
Moreover, the necessitarian analysis of inductive practice is inapplicable
where there are no modal properties that could be inferred to, as is, e.g., the case
in meta-studies.
 

On Validators for Psychiatric Categories
5 December 2019 – 17:00-18:30

Lecture: Miriam Solomon, Temple University (USA)

Council Room, King’s College London, Strand

If you do not have a KCL ID, please register (free) at this Link.

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Audio Recording

 
Description:

The concept of a validator for a psychiatric category developed in the second half of the twentieth century and is still in use. Surprisingly, the term “validator” has never been explicitly defined in the psychiatric literature. Moreover, although lists of different kinds of validators have often been stated, there has been no explicit discussion in the literature about how different kinds of validator evidence should be aggregated in a decision about how to create, revise, or remove a psychiatric category. The goal of this paper is to trace the development of the concept of a psychiatric validator, showing how our understanding has changed over time. With this in mind, I evaluate possible recommendations for aggregating validator evidence.
 

Offers, requests and certainties (in the prevention and treatment of cancer, for example)
28 November 2019 – 17:00-18:30

Lecture: Stephen John, University of Cambridge

Bush House (S) 2.02, Strand Campus

If you do not have a KCL ID, please register (free) at this Link.

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Description:

Doctors are sometimes permitted to give patients early detection tests which are not judged safe and effective enough to be used in screening programmes. Pharmaceutical companies are sometimes permitted to give patients drugs which are not yet approved by regulators. On the face of it, these cases seem examples of a more general phenomenon explored in recent philosophy of science under the heading of “inductive risk”, where appropriate standards of certainty are fixed by non-epistemic aspects of our situation. However, standard discussions of inductive risk focus on the consequences of different epistemic errors. This doesn’t look like a helpful way of thinking through our cases. This paper suggests an alternative: that there is a difference between the ethics of responding to requests and the ethics of making an offer. In the former case, considerations of autonomy are key; in the latter, considerations of non-maleficence. In turn,these deontic differences have important epistemic implications. This paper develops these ideas, noting their relevance to a range of practices around the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer.
 

Medicalisation of Female Sexual Desire
14 November 2019 – 17:00-18:30

Lecture: Jacob Stegenga, University of Cambridge

Large Committee Room, Hodgkin Building, Guy’s Campus, King’s College London

If you do not have a KCL ID, please register (free) at this Link.

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Description:

Medicalisation is a social phenomenon in which conditions that were once under legal, religious, personal or other jurisdictions are brought into the domain of medical authority. Low sexual desire in females has been medicalised, pathologised as a disease, and intervened upon with a range of pharmaceuticals. There are two polarised positions on the medicalisation of low female sexual desire: I call these the mainstream view and the critical view. I assess the central arguments for both positions. Dividing the two positions are opposing models of the aetiology of low female sexual desire. I conclude by suggesting that the balance of arguments supports a modest defence of the critical view regarding the medicalisation of low female sexual desire.
 

2019 Annual Sowerby Lecture
7 November 2019 – 18:30-20:00

Are you your Brain?  Neuroscience and Neuromania

Lecture: Professor Raymond Tallis FMedSci FRCP FRSA

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

Introduced by Lord Turnberg FRCP FMedSci, past president of the Royal College of Physicians.

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Video Recording

 

About the Speaker:

Raymond Tallis is a philosopher, poet, novelist and cultural critic, and a retired physician and clinical neuroscientist. He ran a large clinical service in Hope Hospital Salford and an academic department in the University of Manchester. His research focussed on epilepsy, stroke, and neurological rehabilitation.

He trained in medicine at Oxford University and at St Thomas’s in London before going on to become Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester and a consultant physician. He was an editor and major contributor to two key textbooks in the field, The Clinical Neurology of Old Age and Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology and author of over 200 original scientific articles, mainly in clinical neuroscience, including papers in Nature Medicine, Brain, Lancet. In 2000, he was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in recognition of his contribution to medical research. Among many prizes, he was awarded the Lord Cohen Gold Medal for Research into Ageing. He played a key part in developing guidelines for the care of stroke patients in the UK. From 2011-14 he was Chair, Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying (HPAD). He has been a member of the Council of Royal College of Physicians since June 2016. He is a member of the criteria-setting group for the UK Research Excellence Framework 2021 in philosophy.

He has published fiction, poetry, and 25 books on the philosophy of mind, philosophical anthropology, literary and cultural criticism. Aping Mankind (2010) was reissued in 2016 as a Routledge Classic. Of Time and Lamentation. Reflections on Transience (2017)– is an inquiry into the nature of time. NHS SOS (2012), co-edited with Jacky Davis, examined the destructive impact of Tory policies on the NHS. Logos. An Essay on the Mystery of the Sense-Making Animal was published in Spring 2018. A series of 8 seminars on Humanism given in the philosophy department of Charles University Prague, is the basis of his next book, due out in autumn 2019, Seeing Ourselves. Reclaiming Humanity from God and Science . His next volume of verse – Sunburst – is also due out in 2019.

In 2009, the Economist Intelligent Life Magazine describe him as one of the world’s leading polymaths. He has been a member of the Council of Royal College of Physicians since June 2016. He has 4 honorary degrees: DLitt (Hull, 1997) and Litt.D. (Manchester, 2001) for contributions to the humanities; and DSc (St George’s Hospital Medical School, 2015; University of East Anglia, 2017) for contributions to research in medicine.
 

Peter Sowerby Interdisciplinary Workshop
6 November 2019 - 7 November 2019 – 10:30-16:45

The Brain

Conceptual Issues in Biological Psychiatry

6-7 November

Location:
Bedford Room (Ground Floor)
Senate House
University of London
Malet Street
WC1E 7HU
London

Registration: This event is now fully booked. If you’d like to be put on a waiting list send an email containing your full name to Harriet Fagerberg (harriet.fagerberg@kcl.ac.uk) with ‘Sowerby Biological Psychiatry Waiting List’ in the subject line.

Programme

6th of November

  • 10:30 – 11:00 Registration
  • 11:00 – 11:15 Welcome
  • 11:15 – 12:15 Gareth Owen (KCL) – Psychiatry: neurology, psychology or social work?
  • 12:15 – 12:30 Break
  • 12:30 – 13:30 Vaughan Bell (UCL) and Monica Greco (Goldsmiths) – The Functional/Organic distinction in neurology and psychiatry: a multiplicity of uses
  • 13:30 – 14:15 Lunch
  • 14:15 – 15:15 Anna Daniels (Charité) – A claim for integrated dimensional psychiatry
  • 15:15 – 15:45 Break
  • 15:45 – 16:45 Mohammed Rashed (Birkbeck) – Madness and the limits of social recognition

7th of November

  • 09:45 – 10:00 Coffee
  • 10:00 – 11:00 Matthew Parrott (Oxford) – Intelligibility and mechanistic explanations
  • 11:00 – 11:15 Break
  • 11:15 – 12:15 Daniel Williams (Cambridge) – Predictive processing in psychiatry – a critique
  • 12:15 – 12:30 Break
  • 12:30 – 13:30 Henrik Walter (Charité) – Network theory of mental disorder and the new mechanism: Moving forward
  • 13:30 – 14:15 Lunch
  • 14:15 – 15:15 Kari Theurer (Trinity College) and Daniel Hartner (Rose-Hulman) – A critique of psychiatry’s turn towards precision medicine
  • 15:15 – 15:45 Break
  • 15:45 – 16:45 Rachel Cooper (Lancaster) – Ongoing problems for naturalistic accounts of mental disorder


General inquires can be directed to the organisers: Harriet Fagerberg (harriet.fagerberg@kcl.ac.uk) and Anneli Jefferson (anneli.1.jefferson@kcl.ac.uk).

Applications of the updated the Biopsychosocial Model (II): Theorising biomedicaly hard to reach conditions
31 October 2019 – 17:00-18:30

Lecture: Derek Bolton, King’s College London

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

Registration: Eventbrite (only required for attendees without a valid KCL ID)

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Audio Recording

Description:

As set up here (as by Engel) biopsychosocial medicine would help itself to biomedicine – but add some – psychosocial factors – into the mix. Biomedicine manages some conditions at some stages very well by itself. But there is a long list of high service demand conditions/stages/complaints for which this is probably not the case. Examples were referred to in the first lecture, and include aetiology of many conditions – as last week. Also includes management of LTCs. Also includes pain and distress and activity limitations that have no biomedically detectable cause and which have – as is increasingly realised – central nervous system involvement. The updated BPSM would link biomedical science (biology below the neck) with neuroscience (biopsychology above the neck) – interacting with social task demands and resources.

Part 4 of 4 in the series

The Biopsychosocial Model: Updating the Model in Response to Major criticisms“.

Led by Derek Bolton, Professor of Philosophy & Psychopathology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, until recently Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist in SL&M. He has published widely in health sciences and philosophy of psychiatry and medicine. His latest book, co-authored with Professor Grant Gillett (philosopher and formerly neurosurgeon) at Otago, is The Biopsychosocial Model of Health and Disease: New Philosophical and Scientific Developments, published OPEN ACCESS by Springer Palgrave. These lectures will review and apply the main ideas of the book, adapted for health students and educators and interested clinicians.

 

Applications of the updated the Biopsychosocial Model (I): Theorising the social gradient in health
24 October 2019 – 17:00-18:30

Lecture: Derek Bolton, King’s College London

Lecture Theatre 2, New Hunts House, Guy’s Campus, King’s College London

Registration: Eventbrite (only required for attendees without a valid KCL ID)

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Lecture Slides
Audio Recording

Description:

The Marmot Review of health inequalities “does not have much medicine in it”. Meaning: the aetiological risks for many kinds of health condition & implications for prevention targets are social and psychological – as well as biological. How e.g. can lower (perceived) social status make you sick? These issues will be tackled using the updated biopsychosocial model outlined in the previous lecture. We will note that the familiar current hypothesised stress-related mechanisms are thoroughly biopsychosocial.

Part 3 of 4 in the series

The Biopsychosocial Model: Updating the Model in Response to Major criticisms“.

Led by Derek Bolton, Professor of Philosophy & Psychopathology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, until recently Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist in SL&M. He has published widely in health sciences and philosophy of psychiatry and medicine. His latest book, co-authored with Professor Grant Gillett (philosopher and formerly neurosurgeon) at Otago, is The Biopsychosocial Model of Health and Disease: New Philosophical and Scientific Developments, published OPEN ACCESS by Springer Palgrave. These lectures will review and apply the main ideas of the book, adapted for health students and educators and interested clinicians.

 

The Biopsychosocial Model as a model of biopsychosocial causal interactions
17 October 2019 – 17:00-18:30

Lecture: Derek Bolton, King’s College London

Harris Lecture Theatre, Hodgkin Building, Guy’s Campus, King’s College London

Registration: Eventbrite (only required for attendees without a valid KCL ID)

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Lecture Slides
Audio Recording

Description:

When George Engel proposed the BPSM – way back in 1977 – he realised that a lot of prejudice had to be overcome to let in psychological and social processes as causal factors. They included physicalism, reductionism, the view that biology was reducible to physics & chemistry, and mind/body dualism. These are deep science theory issues bordering into philosophy. However, current critical commentators in health agree with Engel that for the BPSM to be feasible, these assumptions will need to be ditched & replaced. I propose a way of doing this using current paradigms in biology (crucial role of regulatory mechanisms) and psychology (embodied cognition as agency) + some political philosophy (autonomy & recognition).

Part 2 of 4 in the series

The Biopsychosocial Model: Updating the Model in Response to Major criticisms“.

Led by Derek Bolton, Professor of Philosophy & Psychopathology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, until recently Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist in SL&M. He has published widely in health sciences and philosophy of psychiatry and medicine. His latest book, co-authored with Professor Grant Gillett (philosopher and formerly neurosurgeon) at Otago, is The Biopsychosocial Model of Health and Disease: New Philosophical and Scientific Developments, published OPEN ACCESS by Springer Palgrave. These lectures will review and apply the main ideas of the book, adapted for health students and educators and interested clinicians.

 

Radical criticisms of the Biopsychosocial Model, and why we still have it nevertheless
10 October 2019 – 17:00-18:30

Lecture: Derek Bolton, King’s College London

Harris Lecture Theatre, Hodgkin Building, Guy’s Campus, King’s College London

Registration: Eventbrite (only required for attendees without a valid KCL ID)

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Lecture Slides
Audio Recording

Description:

The BPSM has recently been radically criticised by authoritative commentators in e.g. The Lancet and the American Journal of Psychiatry; for being vague, lacking scientific content, useless and philosophically incoherent. This combined with the fact that the BPSM is still so frequently invoked in clinical and healthcare education settings signals a problem in the current conceptual foundations of medicine/healthcare. We keep invoking the BPSM because there is accumulating evidence that psychosocial factors as well as biological factors are relevant to many diseases and their management. Refers e.g. social epidemiology, management of LTCs. I will present the case that the ‘content’ of the BPSM/biopsychosocial medicine is to found in the specifics for particular conditions – in fact just like the content of the Biomedical Model/biomedicine is in its specifics.

Part 1 of 4 in the series

The Biopsychosocial Model: Updating the Model in Response to Major criticisms“.

Led by Derek Bolton, Professor of Philosophy & Psychopathology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, until recently Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist in SL&M. He has published widely in health sciences and philosophy of psychiatry and medicine. His latest book, co-authored with Professor Grant Gillett (philosopher and formerly neurosurgeon) at Otago, is The Biopsychosocial Model of Health and Disease: New Philosophical and Scientific Developments, published OPEN ACCESS by Springer Palgrave. These lectures will review and apply the main ideas of the book, adapted for health students and educators and interested clinicians.

 

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