This course attempts to bridge the gap between objective quantitative science and more subjective qualitative personal experience. We push the boundaries in two ways, extending science into the personal realm and asking when imagination and empathy are helpful in science, especially in medicine. We also look at models of disease within the broader mental health community, which is still arguing about the relative contributions of biology, psychology, and culture.
Students will track their own lives in the model of Quantified Self. They will begin to get a feel for their own variability and for the extremes of experience that are often pathologized in our culture. They will learn to be skeptical of their own senses and confident in the use of the scientific method, which is, in its hypothesis-generating phase, a creative pursuit.