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

Contact Details:
Tel: 0 11 559 4940


About Prof Benjamin Smart

Professor Smart is co-founder of The Centre for Philosophy of Epidemiology, Medicine and Public Health, and an Associate Professor in Philosophy of Medicine. Prior to joining the University of Johannesburg in 2015 he lectured at The University of Birmingham, having received his PhD from Nottingham University in 2012.

Smart’s research focuses on the on the philosophy of medicine, philosophy of public health, and philosophy of epidemiology. He has published two monographs, entitled ‘Concepts and Causes in the Philosophy of Disease’, and (TUFTS Professor, Olaf Dammann) ‘Causation in Population Health Informatics and Data Science‘. He has numerous papers in highly ranked international philosophy journals, including Philosophical Studies and Analysis, as well as publications in both specialist medical journals and philosophy of medicine journals. He is a subject editor for the journal Philosophy of Medicine.

In addition to his work on philosophy of medicine/public health, Smart has published on the metaphysics of science, the problem of induction, the nature of fundamental properties, decolonising education, and the philosophy of sport.

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:

Broadbent, 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.


Smart, B.T.H. (2023). The core business of medicine: a defence of the best available intervention thesis. Synthese201(6), 194.
Smart, B. T., & Combrink, H. M. (2022). The ontology of epidemics—A value‐dependent realist account of epidemics. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.
Smart, BTH; Combrink, H; Streicher, P; Broadbent, A. 2021. ‘Direct and Indirect Health Effects of Lockdown in South Africa’.


Smart, B. ‘Concepts of Health and Disease in Public Health’. 2023. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Public Health. Ed. S. Venkatapuram and A. Broadbent
Broadbent, A and Smart, B. 2021. ‘One-Size-Fits-All Approaches to Covid-19 Could Have Lethal Consequences’. The Ethics of Pandemics