Workshop, Feb 22–23: Phenomenology, Narrative, and the Philosophy of Medicine

The Philosophy Program and The Narrative Practices in Therapy Initiative are hosting a two-day workshop on

Phenomenology, Narrative, and the Philosophy of Medicine
February 22-23 2017

All talks will be held in building 25, room 150 on the University of Wollongong’s main campus
For a campus map, go to:

Phenomenological and narrative approaches to health and illness focus on the subjective experience of well-being, and the ways in which illnesses and their treatments can impact on self-experience. Such accounts raise a variety of philosophical questions. To what extent can features of phenomenology and narrative be used to characterise different disorders? What problems do we face in relying on such first-person accounts, and what insights can we gain? Can such characterisations be integrated with naturalistic accounts of health and illness? How should we understand the role of phenomenology and narrative in treatment, as in narrative therapy?

This workshop will examine the role of phenomenological and narrative approaches across a range of cases. The goal is to develop a clearer account of the distinctive character of such approaches, the philosophical challenges they face, and the increased understanding they might provide.


Wednesday, February 22nd

13:00-14:30 Shaun Gallagher (Memphis/UOW), “Empathy: Pain, trial and tribulation”
14:30-15:30 Philip Gerrans (Adelaide), “Keeping reality at bay, the role of narrative in mental health”
15:30-16:00 Coffee/Tea
16:00-17:00 Jeanette Kennett (Macquarie), “Narrative and agency in addiction”

Thursday, February 23rd

10:30-11:30 Marc Slors (Radboud), “Bodily continuity, narrative autobiographical coherence and therapy”
11:30-12:30 Dominic Murphy (Sydney), “Can the sea eagle make you sick?”
12:30-14:30 Lunch
14:30-15:30 Jonathan Cole (Poole General Hospital, UK), “Narrative approaches to neurological impairment”
15:30-16:30 Roundtable discussion on the role of phenomenology and narrative in medicine: Claire Hooker (Sydney), Jonathan Cole (Poole General Hospital), Shaun Gallagher (Memphis/UOW)

All are welcome. Registration is free. To register, please contact Patrick McGivern at


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