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Welcome to CPEMPH

The Durham-Johannesburg Centre for Philosophy of Epidemiology, Medicine, and Public Health (CPEMPH) is a platform for interdisciplinary research into the philosophical aspects of human health. A joint venture between Durham University and the University of Johannesburg, the Centre believes that perspectives from outside the Global North will be key sources of new insight in these fields, and seeks to build North-South and South-South partnerships. The Centre’s work includes methodological and conceptual foundations of health research, which raise philosophical questions with practical implications. It also includes the social and political context of medical science and practice, and the way these shape methods, goals, and strategies. The Centre’s conception of both “philosophy” and “medicine” includes non-Western traditions. 

Our projects

Disease and Power: Teachings from Africa finds out what African perspectives can reveal about the relationship between disease and power, in the handling of epidemics, the prioritisation of health priorities, the distribution of resources, the conceptualisation of threats and responses, and the scientific methodologies developed and deployed.

Intercultural Medical Disagreement addresses the way that medical beliefs are connected with wider worldviews and ontological commitments, and the way this relates to disagreements about health interventions.

AI and Medicine: African Philosophical Perspectives investigates conceptual, methodological, and ethical issues arising in connection with medical uses of AI, deploying African philosophical perspectives in doing so.


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Enquiries about the CPEMH should be sent via the email below.