Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Dr Rupert Read 
(University of East Anglia) 

Wittgenstein among the 'human sciences': 
Some thoughts on the case of medicine 
(including psychiatry) 

Wittgenstein suggests that we ought to be wary of modelling of all human knowledge and inquiry on the pattern of science. I explore and expound the basis for this wariness, and then go on to apply this thinking to the very important case of medicine. In particular, is ‘Evidence-based medicine’ a benign for instance of science-in-action to improve people’s lives, or is it an imperialist power play designed to drive out art/judgement and values from medicine in the name of an alleged science-based alternative to these? Might there be a philosophy-informed alternative to EBM that improves upon it, through avoiding the scientism arguably present within it? In the case of psychiatry and care for mental-health in general, are there additional reasons to be found in Wittgenstein’s thinking for doubting that an EBM-based–approach can be the right one? 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 13.00-14.30 

LR17, Wilberforce Building 


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