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Dien Ho

Dien Ho, PhD

Director of the Center for Health Humanities

Professor of Philosophy and Healthcare Ethics

Department: School of Arts and Sciences
Office: Fennell 254

(P) 617.732.2953


School of Arts and Sciences


BA, Brandeis University
MA, Tufts University
PhD, The Graduate Center-The City University of New York

Research Interests

Healthcare Ethics: Procreative Autonomy, Organ Transplantation, Clinical Ethics
Philosophy of Medicine: Research Methodology, Placebo, Values in Medicine
Philosophy of Science: Theoretical Reasoning, Nature of Explanation, Empiricism

A Philosopher Goes to the Doctor: A Critical Look at Philosophical Assumptions in Medicine: Routledge 2019.

Philosophical Issues in Pharmaceutics: Development, Dispensing, and Use. Springer 2017.

The Best Logic Book Ever. Co-authored with Brad Monton. Thomson and Wadsworth. 2006.

Peer-Reviewed Articles & Book Chapters

Howick, J., Zhao, L., McKaig, B., Rosa, A., Campaner, R., Oke, J., & Ho, D. Do medical schools teach medical humanities? Review of curricula in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, doi:

"Harm, Truth, and the Nocebo Effect," Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 2020 29(2), 236-245. doi:10.1017/S0963180119001038

"Why Construing Theories of Depression as Lakatos' Research Programs Might Spell Trouble for their Proponents," Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, 2018 25(4), 305-307.

"Love in the Time of Antibiotic Resistance: How Altruism Might Be Our Best Hope." In D. Ho (Ed.), Philosophical Issues in Pharmaceutics: Development, Dispensing, and Use: Springer 2017.

“Keeping it Ethically Real,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 2016 Aug;41(4):369-83. doi: 10.1093/jmp/jhw010. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

“Making Ethical Progress without Ethical Theories,” AMA Journal of Ethics, April 2015.

“The Gen-Ethics Bowl – An In-Class Activity Combining Genetics and Bioethics” Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, December 2014.

“Borderline Disorder: Medical Personnel and Law Enforcement,” (co-authored with Ken Richman and Mark Bigney) Hasting Center Report—Bioethics Forum, 4/3/2014.

"What's So Bad About Being A Zombie?" Philosophy NOW, May/June 2013.

"Paradigms, Coherence, and the Fog of Evidence," Virtual Mentor--American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, January 2013, vol 15(1): pp. 65-70. 

"Pharmacist Ethics," International Encyclopedia of Ethics, edited by Hugh LaFollette, Blackwell Publishing, 2013: pp. 3874–3881

"Antidepressants and the FDA’s Black-Box Warning: Determining a Rational Public Policy in the Absence of Sufficient Evidence," Virtual Mentor—American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, June 2012, vol 14(6): pp. 483-488.

"Providing Optimal Care with Dirty Hands," The American Journal of Bioethics, 2010, vol 10(2): pp. 16-17 

"When Good Organs Go to Bad People," Bioethics, 2008, vol 22(2): pp. 77-83

"Farewell to Empiricism," Images of Empiricism: Essay on Science and Stances, with a Reply from Bas van Fraassen, edited by Brad Monton, Oxford University Press, 2007: pp. 319-334

"Ectogenesis and the Limits of Medicine," Ectogenesis: The Artificial Womb and the Future of Human Reproduction, edited by Scott Gelfand and John Shook, Rodopi Press, 2006: pp. 139-147

"Anthropic Reasoning Does Not Conflict with Observation," (with Brad Monton) Analysis, January 2005: pp. 42-45

"Explaining Human Actions Epistemically," The Explanation of Human Interpretation, edited by João Sàágua, Edições Colibri, 2005: pp. 327-334