Professor Paul Griffiths

Administering Organisation    

Discipline Area        

The University of Sydney

Humanities and Creative Arts

Fellowship project summary

A philosophy of medicine for the 21st century (FL170100160)

This project aims to develop a new theory of health and disease to accommodate developments in contemporary biology such as the ‘developmental origins of health and disease’, the role of the microbiome in physiology, and the fact that our bodies are sites of evolutionary conflict between multiple genomes, particularly in early life. Present science does not fit with common-sense ideas about the identity and the goals of living systems and the project expects to generate a close collaboration between philosophers and biomedical scientists so that new ideas about health and disease can be fed back into proof-of-principle projects for innovative new approaches to the study of health and disease. The project will conduct methodologically innovative research in the philosophy of medicine, working in close collaboration with biomedical scientists to confront the transformational discoveries about the nature of living systems that have been made in the first years of the current century and to actively shape new forms of enquiry into health that reflect those discoveries. It will make the discipline of philosophy an active participant in the creation of integrative biomedical research.

Australian Research Council funding: $2,568,846

About Professor Griffiths

Professor Paul Griffiths is Professor of Philosophy at The University of Sydney, where he leads the Theory and Method in Bioscience group within the Charles Perkins Centre and is the centre’s Domain Leader for Society and Environment. Professor Griffiths’ world-leading research focusses on philosophical issues in contemporary biology and biomedicine. Professor Griffiths is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and of the Royal Society of NSW. He was also President of the International Society for History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology from 2011–13.

Find out more about Professor Griffiths and his research by visiting his profile page on The University of Sydney website.

For further information about this funding scheme, please visit the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme page on the ARC website.