95824 - Phylosophyof Health

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Rimini
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Human Nutrition, Well-Being And Health (cod. 5812)

Learning outcomes

The philosophy of health reflects critically on the concepts of health, wellbeing and quality of life, as they are employed in scientific research. This course introduces to the main concepts and definitions of health and wellbeing in philosophy and in the biomedical sciences; to recognze the interplay of facts and values in defining health and related concepts; the indvidual and social dimensions of health and wellbeing; some ethical aspects of health communication

Course contents

We'll see that wellbeing concepts have objective components, such as absene of bodily dysfunctions and availability of material goods, subjective components, such as happiness, pleasure and tranquility, and also value components, depending on what we value as good and interesting in life.

This is an introductory course and familiarity with philosophy or with the history of philosophy is neither required nor recommended.

Analysis of concepts and applied philosophy of science are the methods employed in this course. 


- Definition of health: no disease, complete wellbeing, equilibrium

- Wellbeing as the aim of life: philosophical theories

- Wellbeing as an individual state: positive psychology

- measuring healtha nd related concepts: conceptual and practical problems

- Health and wellbeing in nutritions studies

- Health and related concepts in old age

- Health, wellbeing and disability

- Mental health, mental wellbeing

- Who's in charge of health and wellbeing? Society, doctors or each of us?

- Communicating health vs advertising health: ethical issues





Lalumera, E. (forthcoming) Salute e benessere: un'analisi concettuale. Available on Virtuale during the course.

For each topic, classes will be based on 2-3 published articles (in English). Reading them before classes makes participation easier and allow for a more enjoyable experience of the course.

Articles will be posted on Virtuale, too.

Teaching methods

Traditional lectures with discussion time.

Assessment methods

Students are required to write a short essay (max 5000 words) on one of the course topics, in Italian, hand it in at least 1 week before the exam date, and present it during the exam.

The essay should be based on the main text as a general framework and on the articles suggested for that topic. Essay topic and title should be decided and communicated to the professor at least 3 weeks before the exam. 

Essay grading takes into account:

- clarity of ideas and expression

- argumentation and logical structure

- relation to referenced articles (not undrestood; correctly illustrated; illustrated and either criticized or defended originally)

Presentation and participation during class may also positively modify the final grade.

Teaching tools

Pdf and ppt files of classes, articles and some videos.

Office hours

See the website of Elisabetta Lalumera


Good health and well-being

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.