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)

(See this event also on Facebook)

Lecture Slides
Audio Recording


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.