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A Philosophical Inquiry concerning Biomedicine


Admission requirements


Period: 1 May - 5 May 2023

Scientific and technological developments, certainly those of biomedicine, constantly change our day-to-day reality. These developments trigger our creative mind, seeing and exploring new possibilities, as well as our critical mind. New possibilities confront us with the responsibility to make choices. Are we able to foresee all consequences? How do, for example, prenatal diagnostics, the possibility to modify DNA of humans, production of organs, registration of DNA profiles of citizens, affect our lives and social coherence?

The scientific reality of biomedicine changes the way we understand ourselves as human beings. This is reflected in our perspectives on health, illness and our relation towards death. Questions concerning the essence and meaning of live inevitably arise. Since there is not just one right answer, there is chosen for a special method: a philosophical inquiry. Based on different ways of thinking and different sources of wisdom, we inquire questions about the relationship between human values and technology, matter and consciousness, body and soul and other issues you choose to discuss. This method enables you to explore your way of thinking, qua content and process, in an active and fundamental way. So, you are expected to participate in the discussion and contribute to the inquiry. You are invited to challenge the borders of what seems obvious in order to broaden your vision.

Course objectives

The student:

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

  • Inquires and develops his/her own thoughts (content) and way of thinking (process) and communicates that with others;

  • Is aware of the context of his/her perspective and how to contribute to the philosophical discussion;

  • Learns to handle fundamental and complicated issues;

  • Shows openness for different perspectives and finds inspirations for his/her own curiosity;


All course and group schedules are published on our LUMC scheduling website or on the LUMC scheduling app.

Mode of instruction

Working groups (possibly online).

Assessment method

Summative assessment:
Participation during the discussions, contribution to the inquiry, an essay assignment and a short presentation.

Reading list

Will be distributed by the teacher during the course.


Registration for FOS courses, H2W, Scientific Conduct, Course on Lab Animal Sciences and CRiP takes place in lottery rounds in the beginning of July. After the lottery rounds: if you want to register for a course you are kindly asked to contact the student administration at



Maximum number of participants is 12.

ECT: 1

Tutor / Coordinator: drs. J. Monshouwer