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Home page > Axes of research > History and Philosophy of Medecine

History and Philosophy of Medecine


This axis was created in 2012 at the end of the five-year period to create a space dedicated to work on medicine and health, which is not "fused" in the work on the biological discipline. He is now proposing a body of research on the experience of the disease, the use of the human body, and the history of medicine as a form of knowledge and a set of practices of care. It is based on three disciplinary skills: history, philosophy and anthropology, and is characterized by an open-plan approach on a double spatial and temporal level, with a perspective of long-term questioning, an exploration and confrontation of different corpora and parts of the world / "cultural areas". This is an important point of his inclusion in SPHERE.

It is also characterized by the importance given to the interdisciplinary approach (double training and / or elaboration of modes and methodologies of work with medical teams, researchers in biomedicine, caregivers). This is also an important point for its consistency with the whole of SPHERE.

By bringing together his disciplinary skills and the fact that he approaches medicine as a plural object, from his epistemological stakes to his practical dimensions, and in the long term, from different parts of the world / "areas", he offers an original axis within the French research landscape.

The themes have been redefined for the new contract, in order to better correspond to the evolution of the work of the axis, but without changing the fundamental balances either. Marie Gaille will now be responsible for the entire axis, which will decline into four themes.


Thematics of research / Members /


  • 1 History and philosophy of care: cultures, practices and criticisms 2018-2022
    This theme is based on the idea that the discourses, knowledge and practices of medicine are seized subjects according to moral values and social issues historically constructed, culturally located and often implicit. To define the normal and the pathological, to treat, to medicalise, to take care of are logical and complex ends. The theme focuses on the epistemological, ethical and political issues at work in the logic, work, organizations and relationships of care. It addresses the question of care in its historical transformations and in its actuality, it integrates the works in social sciences and analyzes the contributions and limits of the notion of "care" in health.
  • 2 Medicine and government 2018-2022
    Several members of the History and Philosophy of Medicine axis expressed the wish to see their research federate in a particular theme: "medicine and government", which questions the way in which medicine can be described as a set of techniques and practices of government (self-government and government of others), inscribed in particular rationalities of government, and occupying a sometimes considerable political role; and how, on the other hand, it provides and has provided a whole body of knowledge aimed at knowing and governing individuals and populations. In this context, several themes will be addressed:
    1 ° Concepts and medical practices in a neoliberal rationality.
    2 ° Race and Medicine.
    3 ° The role of alienist knowledge in the analysis of moral and civil capacities in the nineteenth century.
    4 ° Decide in uncertainty: ethical, epistemological and social issues of genomic medicine [...]
  • 3 Disease, environment, health: historical, philosophical, ecological and medical approaches 2018-2022
    This theme brings together a dozen researchers who intend to pursue, in collective projects or in their personal capacity, part of their research on the issues of environment, health and disease. As in the past, two main projects emerge. The first is interested in deepening the historical and philosophical dimension of the environment-health relationship. With specialists from different geographical areas for different historical periods, the researchers involved in this line of research can provide the material needed to develop, in the coming years, a comparative study. [...]
  • 4 Chronic Disease, Neuroscience and Disability 2018-2022
    We propose here to deepen the history of medical thought, the relation of medicine to techniques, its epistemological models, their effects in terms of management, especially in the fields of chronic diseases, disability and neuroscience. These fields have multiple meeting points: on the side of pathology, they refer to diseases or deficiencies that we do not know how to cure, and with which we live in a sustainable way. The history of neuroscience itself provides a fundamental insight into the questioning of the management of neurodegenerative diseases



Members / Thematics /

In Charge
GAILLE Marie
Researchers - Phd Students - Post-docs
BANSARD Elsa
BARBARA Jean-Gaël
BARROUX Gilles
BENSAAD Meyssa
BIZOUARN Philippe
BOSSI-REGNIER Laura
BRETELLE-ESTABLET Florence
CAMUS Agathe
CANDELISE Lucia
CHANSIGAUD Valérie
CHABERT Anne-Lyse
D’HOMBRES Emmanuel
DORON Claude-Olivier
ELICHABE Benoit
GACHELIN Gabriel
GILART de KERANFLEC’H Charlotte
KATOUZIAN-SAFADI Mehrnaz
LACHENAL Guillaume
LAMOUCHI-CHEBBI Kouthar
LANCELOT Mathilde
LEFEVE Céline
LEPLEGE Alain
MALASPINA Cécile
MEURIS César
MOULIN Anne-Marie
RICORDEL Joelle
SALANSKIS Emmanuel
THAY Roger
VERMEIR Koen
YAKURA Hidetaka
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