Name: Alex Broadbent
Rated Researchers Staff Members
About Prof Alex Broadbent
BA(Hons), MPhil, PhD
Graduate Diploma in Law
Executive Dean, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg
Affiliated Research Scholar, History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge
Professor, Philosophy, University of Johannesburg
Vice Dean Research, Humanities, University of Johannesburg
Head of Department, Philosophy, University of Johannesburg
Associate Professor, Philosophy, University of Johannesburg
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Johannesburg
Research Fellow, University of Cambridge (Sep-Dec). Project: Philosophical
Issues in Epidemiology. Funded by the PHG Foundation and held at the
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Visiting Professor in Philosophy of Science, University of Vienna (Nov-Dec)
Visiting Fellow, University of Athens (Oct)
Visiting Researcher, Brocher Foundation (Jul-Sep)
Teaching Associate, Department of History and Philosophy of Science,
University of Cambridge (until end August 2010)
Director of Studies in Philosophy, Christ’s College, Cambridge
Research Fellow, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University
of Cambridge. Project: Philosophical Issues in Epidemiology, looking at
epistemological and metaphysical issues arising in population health science
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION
Philosophy of epidemiology; causation; causal inference; scientific and statistical evidence in policy-making and law; causation in the law.
AREAS OF COMPETENCE
Metaphysics; epistemology; philosophy of science; philosophy of law; philosophy of mind; philosophy of language and logic; sociology of scientific knowledge.
h-index (Google Scholar): 6
Peer reviewed journal articles: 15
Peer-reviewed chapters: 2
Monographs: 2 (including 1 under contract)
Edited volumes: 1 (co-edited, under contract)
Books – monographs
Broadbent, A. Under contract. A Philosophical Toolkit for Graduate Students: Metaphysics and Epistemology. Routledge.
Broadbent, A. 2013. Philosophy of Epidemiology. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Broadbent, A. Under review. Causation, Counterfactuals, and How to Make a Difference.
Broadbent, A. In preparation. Philosophy of Medicine.
Books – edited volumes
Broadbent, A. and Stegenga, J. (eds.). Under contract. Major Works in Philosophy of Medicine. Bloomsbury.
Broadbent, A. and Venkatapuram, S. (eds.). Under contract. Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Public Health. Routledge.
Journal Articles (accredited except where otherwise indicated)
1.Vlerick, M. and Broadbent, A. In press (2015). ‘Evolution and Epistemic Justification.’ Dialectica. Page numbers to be confirmed.
2.Broadbent, A. In press (2015). ‘Causation and Prediction in Epidemiology: A Guide to the Methodological Revolution.’ Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. Page numbers to be confirmed.
3.Broadbent, A. In press (2015). ‘Stability as a Stable Category in Medical Epistemology.’
The Journal of Applied Philosophy. Page numbers to be confirmed. [New journal, will apply for accreditation.]
4.Broadbent, A. 2015. ‘Risk Relativism and physical law.’ Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 69: 92-94.
5.Broadbent, A. 2014. ‘Disease as a Theoretical Concept: the Case of HPV-itis.’ Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 48: 250-257.
6.Broadbent, A. 2012. ‘Causes of causes.’ Philosophical Studies 158: 457-476.
7.Broadbent, A. 2012. ‘Philosophy and Preventive Medicine.’ Preventive Medicine 55: 575-576.
8.Broadbent, A. 2011. ‘Epidemiological Evidence in Proof of Specific Causation.’ Legal Theory 17: 237-278. [Non-accredited, despite being one of the top journals in the field.]
9.Broadbent, A. 2011. ‘Defining Neglected Disease.’ Biosocieties 6: 51-70.
10.Broadbent, A. 2011. ‘Conceptual and methodological issues in epidemiology – An overview.’ Preventive Medicine 53: 215-216.
11.Broadbent, A. 2011. ‘What could possibly go wrong? – A heuristic for predicting population health outcomes of interventions.’ Preventive Medicine 53: 256-259.
12.Broadbent, A. 2009. ‘Causation and models of disease in epidemiology.’ Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40: 302–311.
13.Broadbent, A. 2009. ‘Fact and Law in the Causal Inquiry.’ Legal Theory 15: 73–191. [Non-accredited, despite being one of the top journals in the field.]
14.Broadbent, A. 2008. ‘The Difference Between Cause and Condition.’ Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108: 355-364.
15.Broadbent, A. 2008. ‘For Analytic Bioethics.’ Clinical Ethics 3: 185-188.
16.Broadbent, A. 2007. ‘Reversing the Counterfactual Analysis of Causation.’ International Journal of Philosophical Studies 15: 169189.
Broadbent, A. Revise and resubmit. (Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics). Health as a Secondary Property.
Broadbent, A. In revision. What Is a Good Prediction?
Broadbent, A. and Peters, D. In revision. ‘Refining the No-Miracles Argument.’
Broadbent, A. In preparation. ‘Causal Selection, Prediction, and Natural Kinds.’
Chapters (all peer reviewed)
1.Broadbent, A. 2013. ‘Explanation and Responsibility.’ In Kahmen, B. and Stepanians, M.
(eds.), Causation and Responsibility – Critical Essays. De Gruyter.
2.Broadbent, A. 2011. ‘Inferring causation in epidemiology: mechanisms, black boxes, and
contrasts.’ Causality in the Sciences, Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo, and Jon Williamson (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press (2011).
Broadbent, A. By invitation. ‘Causation’, chapter in the Elsevier Manual of Forensic Epidemiology.
Broadbent, A. By invitation. ‘Philosophy of Epidemiology’, chapter in Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Medicine.
Broadbent, A. By invitation. ‘Philosophy of Epidemiology’, chapter in Bloomsbury Companion to the Philosophy of Medicine.
Letters and Replies
1.Broadbent, A. 2012. ‘McBride’s recommendation on acetaminophen is not warranted by his argument or evidence.’ Pediatrics (Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatricians): http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/128/6/1181.abstract/reply
2.Broadbent, A. 2008 ‘A Note on Epidemiological Caution.’ Letter to British Medical Journal, online: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/335/7630/1116-b#191569
Broadbent, A. 2011. Epidemiology, Risk, and Causation: conceptual and methodological issues in public health science. Commissioned and published by the PHG Foundation on the topic of a series of workshops they funded in 2010.
Broadbent, A. 2013. ‘Jeremy Howick, The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine.’ Book Review in Philosophy of Science, 80: 165-168.
Broadbent, A. 2013. ‘Steven S. Coughlin. Causal Inference And Scientific Paradigms In Epidemiology.’ Book Review in Preventive Medicine, 56: 90-91.
Broadbent, A. 2011. ‘Michael S. Moore, “Causation and Responsibility: An Essay in Law, Morals and Metaphysics”.’ Book Review in Ethics, 121: pp. 669-674.
Editorial Board, Philosophy and Epidemiology
Editorial Board, Systems Epidemiology
Editorial Board, Legal Theory
Editor of new section of Preventive Medicine on Philosophy of Epidemiology.
Podcast on neglected diseases, by invitation: http://challengingneglect.com/
http://philosepi.wordpress.com Philosophy of Epidemiology blog
GRANTS AND AWARDS
NIHSS Catalytic Award for project “The Science of Prediction in a Changing
World.” Value: ZAR 100 000 for one year.
“Prestigious” (P) Award, National Research Foundation of South Africa. This is
a rating of research standing for career status. A “P” rating is the highest for a
researcher within 5 years of PhD at time of application. Award valid for five
years from 1 Jan 2013. Value: ZAR 80 000 p/a for 6 years; total ZAR 480 000.
Elsevier Young Scientist Award. Value: ZAR 50 000 to be spent on travel Sept
2013 – Aug 2014.
Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Award: Most Promising Young Researcher of
the Year. Value: ZAR 250k over 5 years.
Co-chair of the South African Young Academy of Sciences
Member, South African Young Academy of Sciences
Funding for symposium “Evidence in Healthcare Reform” at the Brocher
Foundation, Geneva. Value: CHF 8000 travel funds plus board and lodging for
up to 12 speakers.
Blue Skies Award, National Research Foundation of South Africa, for
developing the philosophy of epidemiology as a distinct area of focus within the
philosophy of science. Value: 170 000 Rands.
Visiting Fellow at the Brocher Foundation, Geneva, July-September
Epidemiology, Risk, and Genomics: Conceptual and methodological issues in
the public health sciences. A series of four workshops across the calendar year
2010. Funded by the PHG Foundation. Value: UKP 10 000
2008-2010 Mind, Knowledge and Meaning (second year, Cambridge) 2008-2010 Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (second year, Cambridge) 2008-2010 Causation, Explanation and Law (third year, Cambridge)
Introduction to the Philosophy of Epidemiology (third year, Vienna)
Causation and the Sciences (third year, Vienna)
Introduction to Philosophy (first year, UJ)
2011-2013 Big Issues in Metaphysics and Epistemology (honours, UJ)
2011-2012 Making Decisions with Scientific Evidence (honours, UJ)
Elements of the Philosophy of Science (third year, UJ)
Science and Society (second year, UJ)
Science and Society (Honours, UJ)
Introduction to Philosophy (1a, UJ)
Supervision – Postdoctoral Research Fellows
Dr Michael Vlerick 2013-2014. Total of 4 units to date (6 publications, 2 co-authored).
Dr Dean Peters 2013-2014. Total of 2 units to date.
Dr Ben Smart 2015 on.
Supervision – Doctoral
Jane Anderson 2014 on. The Implications of Recent Developments in Neuroscience for Freudian Psychodynamic Theory. IN PROGRESS.
Chadwin Harris 2014 on. Forecasting, Prediction and Induction: Philosophical Issues Arising from Political and Economic Forecasts. IN PROGRESS.
Danielle Swanepoel 2014 on. Can Non-Biological Systems Be Rational? IN PROGRESS.
Supervision – Masters
Dee Cohen 2013-2015 (legitimate medical abeyance for 1 year). Does Contextualism About Knowledge Offer a Viable Framework for Addressing the Novice/Expert Problem?
Adrian Erasmus 2012-2014. A Tracking Theory of Prediction.
Zinhle Mncube 2013-2014. A Philosophical Study of Heritability. IN PROGRESS. Danielle Swanepoel 2012-2013. Bifactualism: A Physicalist Account of Experience.
Supervision – Honours Research Essay
Dee Cohen 2012. The Social Gradient of Health: How Would Marmot’s (2006) Hypothesis Benefit from Reassessment in Terms of Bordieusian Social Class?
Thabang Dladla 2013. The Role of Non-Epistemic Values in Science and the Relevance of African Values.
Adrian Erasmus 2011. Are the Terms in Scientific Theories Incommensurable?
Clarton Fambasi Mangadza 2013-4. Can Computers Think?
Zinhle Mncube 2012. Is Race Biologically Real?
Graduate Student Publications (accredited journals unless otherwise indicated)
Mncube, Zinhle. In press (2015). ‘Is Race Biologically Real?’ South African Journal of Philosophy.
Swanepoel, Danielle. Revise and Resubmit. ‘Bifactualism: A New Physicalist Account of Experience.’ Journal of Consciousness Studies.
PRESENTATIONS SINCE 2010
‘What Do Diseases and Financial Crises Have in Common?’ Panelist at AID
forum in Helsinki.
‘Causation and Prediction in Epidemiology.’ Presentation to Epidemiological
Society of Finland.
‘Causal Selection and Prediction.’ Presentation to TINT, Helsinki.
‘Causal Selection, Prediction, and Natural Kinds.’ Invited talk at Rhodes Grad
‘Causation and Prediction in Epidemiology.’ Invited talk at Rhodes
‘Definitions of Measures of Causal Strength.’ Invited talk at symposium on
Dictionary of Epidemiology, at the World Congress of Epidemiology, Alaska.
‘Stability in Epidemiological Research: Epidemiologists Playing Their Part.’
Invited talk at symposium on Translational Research, at the World Congress of
‘Is Stability a Stable Category in Medical Epistemology?” New Thinking About
Scientific Realism, Cape Town.
‘Risk Relativism and Physical Law.’ Invited talk at symposium on Prediction in
Epidemiology and Healthcare, King’s College London.
‘Health as a Secondary Property.’ Philosophical Society of Southern Africa
Annual Meeting (South Africa).
‘Statistical Evidence in Law.’ University of Toronto (Canada).
‘Causation, Explanation and Prediction in Population Health’. Columbia
University Epidemiology Seminar Series (USA).
‘What is a Good Prediction?’ University of Washington at St Louis (USA).
‘Epidemiological Evidence in Law.’ University of Birmingham (UK).
‘Causal Selection.’ Spring Colloquium, UKZN (South Africa)
‘What Is a Good Prediction?’ Metaphysics, Epistemology and Philosophy of
Science Symposium, Johannesburg.
‘Cancers, Viruses, and the Contrastive Model of Disease.’ ISHPSSB 2013,
‘What Makes Evidence Useful?’ Evidence in Healthcare Reform workshop,
Brocher Foundation, Geneva.
‘Using Causal Knowledge to Predict.’ Philosophy of Science Association
Biennial Meeting, San Diego.
‘The Myth of Translation.’ European Congress of Epidemiology, Porto.
‘Explanation and Prediction in Epidemiology’, Philosophy of Epidemiology
Conference, University of Johannesburg
‘Using Causal Knowledge to Predict’, Causality and Mechanisms in Philosophy
of Science, University of Berne
‘From Causation to Prediction in Epidemiology’, Popper Seminar, London
School of Economics
‘How Causal Knowledge Enables Prediction’, European Philosophy of Science
‘Two Kinds of Difference-Making’, Causality and Mechanisms in the Sciences,
University of Ghent
‘New Work for a Theory of Causation’, University of Johannesburg.
‘New Work for a Theory of Causation’, Departmental Seminar, University of
‘Causation and Exceptions in Epidemiology’, Philosophical Society of Southern
Africa Annual Conference
‘General Causation and Causal Inference: Lessons from Epidemiology’, South
African Philosophy of Science Colloquium.
‘Causation and Exceptions in Epidemiology’, Philosophy of Medicine Seminar,
King’s College London.
‘Causation, Exceptions, and Causal Inference in Epidemiology’, Departmental
‘Relative and Absolute Measures in Public Health Science’, Cambridge
‘Mechanisms, Probability, and Causal Claims in Epidemiology’, Departmental
‘Epidemiology in court: using general causal claims to prove singular causal
claims’, conference: Progress in Medicine, Bristol.
‘Explanation and Responsibility’, symposium on Michael Moore’s Causation
and Responsibility: An Essay in Law, Morals and Metaphysics (2009), Aachen,
CONFERENCE AND WORKSHOP ORGANISATION
Science and Society in Africa. Co-organiser of SAYAS conference.
New Thinking About Scientific Realism. Co-organiser of joint UJ/UP
Metaphysics, Epistemology and Philosophy of Science Symposium (MEPSS),
meeting for local philosophers active in these fields in Johannesburg.
Evidence in Healthcare Reform. Two day symposium at the Brocher
Foundation, Geneva. See Grants and Awards.
Evidence and Causation in Medicine and Epidemiology. Symposium at the
Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, San Diego.
The Philosophy of Epidemiology, conference funded by NRF Blueskies award.
Organiser. See Grants and Awards.
Epidemiology, Risk, and Genomics, series of four workshops, Cambridge.
Organiser. See Grants and Awards.
Progress in Medicine, conference, Bristol. Co-organiser
Philosophy of Medicine Workshop, Bristol. Co-organiser and participant
Causation and the Law, workshop as part of the Edinburgh Festival of Legal
2014-2017 Vice Dean of Research, Humanities, University of Johannesburg
Head of Department, Philosophy, University of Johannesburg
2013 SHDC Plagiarism Working Group, University of Johannesburg
2011-2013 Co-ordinator of Postgraduate Studies, Philosophy, University of Johannesburg
Ethics Committee, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg
Board of Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg
2011-2012 Higher Degrees Committee, Humanities – Representative for Philosophy, University of Johannesburg
2008-10 Executive Committee, Board, Degree Committee, and Library Committee, Department of HPS, Cambridge
Paper Manager for Part 2, Paper 5 (HPS)
Senior Examiner for Part 1b (HPS)
Departmental Seminar Organiser (HPS)
2005-6 President, Graduate Union, University of Cambridge (intermitted from PhD). A full-time, sabbatical, salaried position representing 7000 graduate students on numerous University bodies. Managed grants, budgets, audits and staff.
2007-10 Graduate Diploma in Law (part-time), BPP College of Professional Education. Commendation. (The GDL is the conversion course for non-law graduates that gives the academic basis for legal practice in England.)
2003-8 PhD. Title: A Reverse Counterfactual Analysis of Causation
Department of History and Philosophy of Science – supervised by Peter Lipton
King’s College, University of Cambridge
20067 Visiting Fellow, Harvard University, Department of Philosophy (Sep-Jan)
(20056 Intermitted from PhD, to be President of Graduate Union – see above)
20013 MPhil, Philosophy, University College London
Thesis title: Referential Relativity. Supervised by Jose Zalabardo.
19982001 BA(Hons), Philosophy, King’s College, University of Cambridge, 2i
1996-8 International Baccalaureate, Sevenoaks School – 44 points
Professor Thaddeus Metz, NRF A-rated, Distinguished Research Professor, University of Johannesburg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Professor Don Ross, NRF A-rated, Professor of Economics and Dean of Commerce, University of Cape Town (email@example.com)
Professor Nancy Cartwright, Professor of Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, University of Durham and at the University of California, San Diego (firstname.lastname@example.org), past President of the American Philosophical Association