Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Core Concepts in Health Care

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Thomas Schramme
      Pages 3-15
    3. Lennart Nordenfelt
      Pages 29-43
    4. Jerome C. Wakefield
      Pages 65-82
    5. Dorota Szawarska
      Pages 83-92
    6. Derek Sellman
      Pages 109-120
    7. Thomas Schramme
      Pages 121-128
    8. Bjørn Hofmann
      Pages 129-145
    9. Steven Edwards
      Pages 147-158
    10. Stephen Holland
      Pages 189-205
    11. Steven Edwards
      Pages 207-222
  3. Organisms

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 241-241

About this book


This is the first wide-ranging, multi-authored handbook in the field of philosophy of medicine, covering the underlying conceptual issues of many important social, political and ethical issues in health care. It introduces and develops over 70 topics, concepts, and issues in the field. It is written by distinguished specialists from multiple disciplines, including philosophy, health sciences, nursing, sociology, political theory, and medicine. Many difficult social and ethical issues in health care are based on conceptual problems, most prominently on the definitions of health and disease, or on epistemological issues regarding causality or diagnosis. Philosophy is the discipline that deals with such conceptual, metaphysical, epistemological, methodological, and axiological matters. This handbook covers all the central concepts in medicine, such as ageing, death, disease, mental disorder, and well-being. It is an invaluable source for laypeople, academics with an interest in medicine, and health care specialists who want be informed and up to date with the relevant discussions. The text also advances these debates and will set the agenda for years to come.


Bioethics Disease Health Medicine Philosophy basic aspects of health care concepts in health care concepts in medicine foundations of medicine ideas in medicine medical terminology notions in health care philosophical aspects of health care philosophical issues in medicine philosophy and medicine philosophy of medicine theoretical issues in health care theories of medicine

Editors and affiliations

  • Thomas Schramme
    • 1
  • Steven Edwards
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Philosophy, History and LawSwansea UniversitySwanseaUnited Kingdom

About the editors

Thomas Schramme is Professor in the Department of Philosophy of University of Hamburg, Germany. Dr. Schramme has nearly 2 decades of teaching and research experience in the field of philosophy of medicine. He has held several fellowships and holds Editorial Board memberships in a number of prestigious journals. Dr. Schramme has to his credit a large number of publications on philosophy of medicine and bioethics.

Steven Edwards is Professor in the Department of Philosophy, History & Law in Swansea University, UK. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Edwards has focused mainly on ethical and philosophical issues in healthcare, specifically the philosophy and ethics of nursing and the philosophy of disability. He is a member of important ethics committees in related fields. Dr. Edwards has to his credit a good number of publications on philosophy of medicine and bioethics.

Bibliographic information


“Editors Thomas Schramme and Steven Edwards have assembled the Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine with the understanding that philosophy of medicine has indeed become an established field of study … . the Springer Handbook succeeds as a comprehensive resource in contemporary philosophy of medicine and should be available in all major libraries supporting education and research in health care and philosophy of medicine and science.” (Patrick Daly, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, November, 2017)