This unit of study introduces some philosophical questions and debates concerning medicine and the biomedical sciences. It is divided into three sections. The first explores basic concepts and distinctions such as health, disease, mental illness and disability. The second section deals with topics that lie at the heart of a scientific approach to medicine, namely, causation, experimentation, evidence and clinical reasoning. The final section of the course invites students to reflect critically on the preceding section by exploring the rationality claims of non-orthodox approaches, by inquiring closely into the meaning of medical terms, and by taking a broad view of the notion of risk. All assessments must be completed to pass this Unit.
Online presentations plus 12x1.5hr seminars, or fully online
1x1200wd short written exercise (25%); 1x3000-4000wd major essay (60%); participation in seminars or online (10%); online quizzes (5%)
Required readings are available through the unit of study website. Supplementary readings can be accessed through the university library.
If an insufficient number of students opt to attend seminars on campus, the co-ordinator may choose to teach this Unit of Study in online mode only. Students will be contacted if this occurs.