August 24, 2016

This Week on Hold That Thought

The Philosophy of Cancer
In 2009, Anya Plutynski - a historian and philosopher of biology - was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite all of her experience with scientific research, Plutynski struggled to fully understand her disease. How do scientists and doctors define cancer? Why are some screening and treatment options recommended over others? When and how do values enter the picture? In this episode, Plutynski shares her story, her opinions on ongoing debates over breast cancer screening, and ideas from her forthcoming book Explaining Cancer: Philosophical Issues in Cancer Causation, Evidence & Explanation.

August 17, 2016

Last Week's Episode

Pain: A Cultural History

When we think about pain, most of us think of doctors or medicine, but Javier Moscoso has a different perspective. As a professor of history and philosophy of science at the Institute of History at the Spanish National Research Council, he studies the cultural history of pain, and specifically how representations and even the experience of pain have changed over time. Equal parts philosophy and history, Moscoso invites us to see pain as a social experience that comes with moral and ethical dimensions as well.