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Philosophical Aspects of Biomedicine



No science is completely autonomous. Every science must interact with the day-to-day reality within which it is embedded. This is particularly relevant to the biomedical sciences, since they affect our lives and our social coherence directly. Consider, for example, the issue of cloning, prenatal diagnostics, selection of people, xenotransplantation, production of organs, registration of DNA profiles of citizens. These scientific and technological developments constantly confront us with new questions concerning human value and the essence of live.
How do you relate to this scientific reality? What should your stance be in the debates on such issues? Such questions are of vital importance to you, since they concern your scientific and social identity. It is insufficient to merely follow a lecture or study a course book regarding these issues. Therefore is chosen for a special method: the philosophical dialogue practical, during which the participants are confronted with their own thoughts about themselves as people, as world citizens, as biomedical researcher and as biomedical objects.

Course objectives

Participants in the philosophical dialogue learn to:

  • reflect on the relationship between the science they practise, its social context and relevant philosophical questions.

  • clarify their thoughts in these matters, to formulate them and to discuss them with others.

  • listen to others.

Mode of instruction

Working group.

Assessment method

Assessment of presentation and participation during the dialogue.

Reading list

Will be distributed by the teacher during the course.


N.B. This course in taught in Dutch! Maximum number of participants is 12.