Clarke, Brendan

UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning for teaching and research, plus for our public engagement programme. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.

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HPSC3028 Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Medicine

This page provides information about the module.

The module tutor is Dr Brendan Clarke

Course description

This module will be a reading group. The first half of the term will be structured around Ludwig Fleck's seminal 1935 work Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact, as well as critical articles examining this work. As well as presenting some fascinating insights into the development of scientific medicine, the book makes several broader claims for the role of cultural conditioning in shaping science in general. It therefore anticipated many philosophical approaches more usually associated with later twentieth century philosophy of science. Focused, informal, teaching sessions during class time will be given in support of these core philosophical issues. The second half of the term will then look to develop the kinds of influence that this work has had in the years since its publications. These sessions will therefore each be structured around a single reading, selected by participating students, that illuminates these connections. Throughout the term, students will be expected to work collaboratively, including giving presentations on the readings at the weekly seminars. This module has no pre-requisites, and is intended to act as an introduction to research in history and philosophy of science.


The course takes place during term 2. Course lectures are 14.00-16.00 on Tuesdays. See the UCL common timetable for room details.

No prerequisites

This course has no prerequisites, although given the research context of the module some previous experience in philosophy of science is desirable. 


Two pieces of coursework (50% each)
No exam

Course materials

The 2011-12 course syllabus is available here [366kb .pdf].

Page last modified on 21 sep 12 17:19 by Brendan Clarke

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