Mind and medicine deals with fundamental problems and questions that arise in considering the nature of mental health, mental illness, and branches of medicine that aim to promote mental health and treat mental illness. We will begin by considering the concepts of 'health', 'disease' and 'illness' in general, and several different models of medicine. From there we will move on to a consideration of the nature of explanation in medicine generally. We will examine some explanatory successes in the domain of physical health and disease, and consider how those successes were achieved. In the second half of the course we will look at controversies over the question of whether there is such a thing as mental illness, and if so, how one is to define, diagnose and treat it. In order to better understand what is at stake, we will explore these controversies by focusing on a specific mental illness, schizophrenia. Looking at recent research on schizophrenia will allow us to see the extent to which the kind of understanding we have achieved in physical medicine is or is not to be expected with serious mental illness. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to identify and analyze different philosophical approaches to selected issues in medicine and psychiatry; have gained insight into how to read and critically interpret philosophical arguments; and have developed skills that will enable them to think clearly about foundational questions as future or current health care providers, policy makers, and consumers. This course is also part of a core sequence leading to certification in the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine Certificate Program, and is a companion course to HPS 0613 (Morality and Medicine) but may be taken independently. The course is of particular interest to pre-medical and pre-health care students.
Grading Basis
LG/SNC Elective Basis
Lecture - Required
Recitation - Required
HPS 0612
Academic Group
Dietrich Sch Arts and Sciences
Academic Organization
History & Philosophy of Sci
Pittsburgh Campus
Typically Offered
Fall, Spring