Madness and Mental Health: 2023-4

Health and Disease: Experimental Philosophy of Medicine

This lecture in the 2023 series Madness and Mental Health is presented by Somogy Varga and Andrew J. Latham.

Concepts of health and disease are central to medicine and public health. However, the exact content of these concepts remains a central debate in the philosophy of medicine.

In this talk, we will report some results from a series of experimental philosophy studies which aimed to examine how people understand and deploy these concepts, and the factors that influence their health-related judgments.

We will then discuss the significance that these findings hold for philosophical debates and health-related communication in both clinical and public health settings.

  • Speakers

    Somogy Varga is professor of philosophy at Aarhus University. His current research is mostly concerned with interrelated topics in the philosophy of science, psychiatry, and medicine. He is the author of four books: Science, Medicine, and the Aims of Inquiry (Cambridge University Press, in press), Scaffolded Minds (MIT Press, 2019), Naturalism, Interpretation and Mental Disorder (Oxford University Press, 2015), and Authenticity as an Ethical Ideal (Routledge, 2011).

    Andrew J. Latham is a post- doctoral fellow at Aarhus University and works primarily at the intersection between ethics, metaphysics, and the cognitive sciences. Later in 2024 he will begin a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Post-Doctoral Fellowship investigating psychological impossibility.