Joining the New Center for Medical Humanities at Uppsala University

I am delighted to announce that from January 2021, I will officially be part of the new Center for Medical Humanities team at Uppsala University, led by Dr Ylva Söderfeldt.

I will be personally working on philosophical health. My topic will be The Rediscovery of Philosophy as a Way Toward Health and the “Mind over Matter” Idea.

“The preservation of health has always been the principal end of my studies.” Descartes to the Duchess of Newcastle (cited in Health, a History, 2019, Oxford Philosophical Concepts, OUP).

My project is to contribute to the transnational contemporary intellectual history of the ideas of ​​philosophical health and “mind over matter” and explore how explicit or implicit philosophising is or can be used in contexts of care. In order to contribute to current interdisciplinary efforts to form a sustainable, holistic and critical concept of health, I am performing a genealogy (or “histosophy”: see my article in Global Intellectual History) of the idea of “mind over matter” (and variants such as “mind over body”) as it unfolded in the last 200 years and the ideal of philosophical health as it is being rediscovered and practiced in the last decades by practitioners called “philosophical counselors”, a practice in which I am also empirically and humanly engaged since 2018. I am also interested in the intellectual history of philosophical medicine, the French-German Romantic idea (1750-1850) that medicine should be grounded in cosmology and unifying philosophical or existential principles rather than on mere empirical data. I’ll be also looking at what the intellectual history of process philosophy (Hegel, Whitehead, Bergson, Deleuze, among others) has to say about healthy living.

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