Oxford Philosophy and Medicine Network

Research Networks

Worldwide, the philosophy of medicine is a flourishing area of research, with an increasing number of bibliographies, edited volumes, conferences and leading philosophers dedicating their energy to it. Numerous academics and research groups from across the University of Oxford are currently working in this area, and the Oxford Philosophy and Medicine Network (OPMN) provides a forum to enable and encourage interaction between all interested parties.

The OPMN includes researchers working in medical ethics and foundational issues in the philosophy of medicine, though much of its efforts have so far been focused on more practical issues around the nature of medical evidence and practical ethics. The associated seminar series has included sessions on the ethics of placebos and diagnostic justice.


  1. To foster synergy between the many philosophers of medicine (and medical researchers interested in philosophy of medicine). This can take the form of collaborative teaching, research grants, or other academic activity.
  2. To promote philosophy of medicine within the University of Oxford and beyond.
  3. To encourage all forms of philosophy of medicine, with a focus on empirical philosophy of medicine that has an impact outside academia.
MSt in Practical Ethics logo

MSc in Practical Ethics

History and Philosophy logo

History and Philosophy of Evidence-Based Healthcare

Summer School Logo

Summer School in Philosophy and Psychiatry


Advance Seminar in Philosophy of Medicine (2016, All Souls). Jeremy Howick and Alexander Bird. This interdisciplinary seminar included philosophers and medical professionals and explored issues in the nature of medical evidence that were relevant to medical practice. The next seminar series will run in Michaelmas 2020, and will be on the ethics and epistemology of the placebo.


Placebos: what, why, and how: an interdisciplinary graduate seminar

Whether the treatments we take are believed to be ‘effective’ often depends on whether they are better than ‘placebos’ in clinical trials.



Many of the faculty within the research groups listed above supervise graduate and postgraduates, please identify the faculty member whose interests most closely match yours and get in touch directly. See here for more info and general contacts: https://www.philosophy.ox.ac.uk/graduate-admissions.

Upcoming conferences

We are planning a conference on empirical philosophy for the autumn of 2020.

Past conferences

The Philosophy of Too Much Medicine. A conference held in Oxford in 2017, that led to a series of articles in the interdisciplinary Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, see here for conference report: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jep.13000.


  1. Dr Jeremy Howick, Secretary (Philosophy)
  2. Dr Andrew Papanikitas
  3. Dr Rebecca Brown, Deputy Secretary

Contact Information

For information about the Philosophy and Medicine Group, please contact the secretary of the Oxford Philosophy and Medicine Network

Dr Jeremy Howick: jeremy.howick@philosophy.ox.ac.uk

Dr Rebecca Brown: rebecca.brown@philosophy.ox.ac.uk