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Podcast Profile: Philosophers on Medicine

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17 episodes
2019 to 2021

Collection: Philosophy

Description (podcaster-provided):

For the deepest problems in healthcare, philosophy is the best medicine. In this podcast series, Jonathan Fuller, MD, PhD (University of Toronto) speaks to philosophers about their work on medicine and healthcare. You will hear from philosophers on the meaning and reality of disease, on their skeptical worries about evidence-based medicine, on current movements and controversies that shake medicine to its philosophical foundations. Visit our website at

Themes and summary (AI-generated based on podcaster-provided show and episode descriptions):

➤ Philosophy and medicine intersection • Disease concepts • Evidence-based medicine • Race in epidemiology • Medical nihilism • Expert consensus • Mental disorders • Clinical judgment • Vaccine hesitancy • Pregnancy metaphysics • Overdiagnosis • Disease reality

This podcast, "Philosophers on Medicine," delves into the intricate and often contentious intersection between philosophy and healthcare, providing a comprehensive exploration of philosophical issues that underpin various aspects of medical practice and public health. Hosted by Jonathan Fuller, MD, PhD from the University of Toronto, the podcast features in-depth conversations with philosophers who bring their unique perspectives to contemporary medical issues.

The content spans a broad range of topics, often centered around the conceptual and ethical dimensions of healthcare. Philosophers in various episodes discuss the nature and reality of diseases, probing whether diseases are purely biological phenomena or socially constructed categories. The podcast also scrutinizes evidence-based medicine (EBM), questioning its philosophical underpinnings and the trust we place in certain kinds of medical evidence over others.

The show pays particular attention to current and controversial subjects in medicine. For instance, it addresses race in epidemiology and medicine, exploring the ethical and social implications of using racial categories in medical research. It also engages with timely issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, offering philosophical insights into public health responses and the relationship between science and society.

Another recurrent theme is the critique of medical interventions and the reliability of medical research, raising questions about medical nihilism and overdiagnosis. Issues related to mental health and psychiatric classification are also examined, particularly through discussions about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the conceptual challenges it presents.

Philosophers in the podcast further dissect themes such as clinical judgment, vaccine hesitancy, expert consensus, and the metaphysical questions surrounding pregnancy. These discussions often highlight the complex interplay between empirical evidence, clinical practice, and philosophical inquiry.

Overall, "Philosophers on Medicine" provides a rich, nuanced exploration of how philosophy can contribute to a deeper understanding of medical science, practice, and policy, making it a valuable resource for anyone interested in the philosophical dimensions of healthcare.

Episode Image Philosophy of Medicine on COVID-19

Episode Image Sean Valles - Race in epidemiology and medicine

Episode Image Jacob Stegenga - Medical Nihilism

Episode Image Miriam Solomon - Expert consensus in medicine

Episode Image Alex Broadbent - The causes of disease

Episode Image Evidence-based medicine

Episode Image Mental disorders and the DSM

Episode Image Marc Ereshefsky - Primer on health and disease

Episode Image Clinical Judgment

Episode Image Matthew Parrott - Delusions

Episode Image Elselijn Kingma - Metaphysics of pregnancy

Episode Image Mary Walker - Overdiagnosis and the definition of disease

Episode Image Jeremy Simon - Are diseases real?

Episode Image Maya Goldenberg - Vaccine hesitancy and public trust in healthcare

Episode Image Miriam Solomon - Pick your medicine: evidence-based, narrative, or precision?

Episode Image Alex Broadbent - What is medicine?

Episode Image Philosophers on Medicine - A New Frontier