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180412 SE The Philosophy of Epidemiology (2010W)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work

3.11. 13-15 3C
4.11. 13-15 3C
10.11. 13-15 3C
11.11.: 9.30-11.30 2H
17.11.: 13-15 3C
18.11.: 9.30-11.30 2H
23.11.: 14-16 3A
24.11.: 13-15 3C
25.11.: 9.30-11.30 2H
1.12.: 13-15 3C
2.12.: 9.30-11.30 2H
9.12.: 13-15 3C


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 45 participants
Language: English



Currently no class schedule is known.


Aims, contents and method of the course

Epidemiology is the science that studies the distribution and causes of diseases and other health-related events in human populations. It raises a number of interesting philosophical questions. Epidemiology is the central science of public health, so there is a considerable pressure on epidemiologists to get their answers right. But epidemiologists often cannot use experiments, for practical or ethical reasons. This means that epidemiologists must often try to find other ways to collect and interpret evidence. Epidemiology is also unusual because it does not always produce theories, at least, it does not produce the sort of detailed models that other sciences do. This generates interesting philosophical questions about the depth of explanation that needs to be achieved before a claim can be accepted as true. In addition, epidemiology lies at the intersection between natural and social sciences, and between philosophy of science and political philosophy. It shapes medicine, and our ideas of what counts as a disease. This series of seminars will look at some of these questions. (No prior expertise in epidemiology is required.)

Assessment and permitted materials

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics

Reading list

Association in the course directory

BA M 5.3, § 2.5, § 4.1.4

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:36