Philosophy of Medicine (PHIL*2030) | College of Arts

Philosophy of Medicine (PHIL*2030)

Code and section: PHIL*2030*01

Term: Fall 2019

Instructor: Maya Goldenberg


This course will introduce students to philosophical inquiry by engaging in a philosophical assessment of contemporary medicine.  Our central question will be: what is the proper task of medicine?  This central question raises a host of other questions that call for philosophical reflection.  For example some of the questions we will address include: What is health and what is a disease?  How are pain and suffering distinct?  Does current medical practice adequately address the suffering of person? Might alternative medical practices promote health better than mainstream medical practices? Can we measure health and the closely related concept of well-being?  Can we quantify medical outcomes effectively, or does the attempt to do so inevitably result in a deterioration of medical care?

The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.