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Dr Benjamin Smart

Name: Benjamin Smart
Location: B Ring 703 Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
Rated Researchers  Staff Members

Contact Details:
Tel: 0 11 559 4940


About Dr Benjamin Smart

Specialisation area
AOS: philosophy of medicine, philosophy of public health, metaphysics of science AOC: philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, philosophy of sport, philosophy of biology, biomedical ethics, philosophy of time


Dr Smart is an associate professor in philosophy. Prior to joining the University of Johannesburg in 2015 he lectured at The University of Birmingham (in the United Kingdom). He received his PhD from Nottingham University in 2012.

Smart’s research focuses on the metaphysics of laws and causation, and on the philosophy of medicine. He published a monograph entitled ‘Concepts and Causes in the Philosophy of Disease’ in 2016, and has numerous papers in highly ranked international philosophy journals. He has published articles on the metaphysics of least action principles, the problem of induction, the nature of fundamental properties, the philosophy of sport, and on the philosophy of health and disease.

Dr Smart believes that philosophical work in medicine can have a direct impact on society, and so also collaborates with academics in the medical sciences to address what some might call ‘real world problems’ in public health.

January 2018: NRF rated academic researcher (Y1)



Damman, O and Smart, B. 2019. Causation in Population Health Informatics and Data Science. Springer

Smart, B. 2016. Concepts and Causes in the Philosophy of Disease. Palgrave Macmillan

Peer-reviewed Articles:

Broadbent, A; Combrink, H; and Smart, B. 2020. “COVID-19 in South Africa” Global Epidemiology doi: 10.1016/j.gloepi.2020.100034
Smart, B.T.H. 2019. “Practicing Afrocentric Ethical Teaching: Towards a Decolonised Education” Teaching Philosophy 43(2): 179-199
Smart, B.T., Stevens, R.J. and Verbakel, J.Y., 2018. Is “chronic kidney disease” a disease?. Journal of evaluation in clinical practice, 24(5), pp.1033-1040.
Stevens, R; Evens, J; Oke, J; Smart, B; Hobbs, R; Holloway, E; Horwood, J; Judd, M; Locock, L; McLennan, J; Perera-Salazar, R. ‘Kidney Age, Not Kidney Disease’. 2018. The Canadian Medical Association Journal. April 3;190:E389-93. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.170674
Smart, B. 2018. ‘True-to-Hume Laws and the Open Future (or Hypertemporal Humeanism). The South African Journal of Philosophy 37(1): 99-110
Smart, B. 2017. ‘Determinism and the Tendential Account of Sporting Prowess’. The South African Journal of Philosophy. 36(2): 217-222

Smart, B. and Thebault, K. 2015. ‘Dispositions and the Principle of Least Action Revisited’ Analysis 75 (3):386-395

Smart, B. 2014. ‘On the Classification of Diseases’ Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (4):251-269

Smart, B. 2013. ‘Is the Humean Defeated by Induction?’ Philosophical Studies 162 (2):319-332.

Barker, S. and Smart, B. 2012. ‘The Ultimate Argument Against the Dispositional Monist Account of Laws of Nature’ Analysis (4): 714-722

Book Chapters:

Smart, B. ‘South Africa’ in Nichole Georgeou and Charles Hawksley (eds) 2020. State Responses to COVID-19: a snapshot at 1 June 2020, HADRI/Western Sydney University: DOI:, A and Smart B.T.H. 2020. ‘Kinds of Explanation in Public Health Policy’ in Explaining Health Across the Sciences eds. Sholl, J. and Rattan, S. Springer

Smart, B. 2017. ‘How Evidence Based Medicine Highlights Connections Between Evidence and Measurement’ Measurement in Medicine: Essays in Evaluation and Assessment, Rowman and Littlefield, ed. McClimans, L.

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