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A Philosophical Inquiry concerning Biomedicine, part A



Period: 8 October 2018 - 7 December 2018

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, selection of people, 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. Questions concerning the essence and meaning of live are then inevitable. 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, 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. And 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.

In part B, the follow up of this course, we will use this philosophical method to go further into questions that are more specific related to biomedicine, opening different perspectives on concepts like illness, health and curing.

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.

Course load

Total course load is the amount of EC’s multiplied with 28 hours.

Assessment method

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


Blackboard will be used during this course.

Reading list

Will be distributed by the teacher during the course.


Registration for FOS courses, H2W, Scientific Conduct, How to start, Course on Animal Science , and CRiP and Adv concepts courses 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.