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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Professor of Philosophy of Science

Jacob Stegenga is a Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He has published widely on fundamental topics in reasoning and rationality and philosophical problems in medicine and biology. Prior to joining Cambridge he taught in the United States and Canada, and he received his PhD from the University of California San Diego. He is the author of Medical Nihilism and Care and Cure: An Introduction to Philosophy of Medicine, and he is currently writing a book tentatively titled Heart of Science. During the academic year 2023–24 Jacob is a Senior Fellow at Leibniz University Hannover.

Jacob runs the YouTube channel PhiSci: Conversations about Philosophy and Science, where he interviews some of the world's most prominent philosophers and scientists about a wide range of topics.

Jacob Stegenga's website


Research interests

Philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, philosophy of medicine


Selected publications

For a complete list of publications, please see my homepage.

'Justifying Scientific Progress', forthcoming, Philosophy of Science

'Evidence of Effectiveness', Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 2022 91: 288–295

Medical Nihilism, Oxford University Press, 2018

Care and Cure: An Introduction to Philosophy of Medicine, University of Chicago Press, 2018

'Population Pluralism and Natural Selection', The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 2016 67: 1–29

'Probabilizing the End', Philosophical Studies 2013 165: 95–112


Syllabi for philosophy of medicine

The following two syllabi are for philosophy of medicine courses, structured around my introductory text Care and Cure. One syllabus is for a lower-level undergraduate course and the other syllabus is for an upper-level course or graduate seminar. Please feel free to use and modify these syllabi to suit your teaching needs. Also, if you are a student and are planning to pursue an MPhil or PhD in our department, the reading list in the upper-level syllabus would be good prior preparation.

Philosophy of medicine – lower-level syllabus

Philosophy of medicine – upper-level syllabus