My research in philosophy of biology and related domains attempts to understand scientific practice and concept use from a methodological, epistemological, and semantic point of view. This includes investigating the change and diversity of scientific practices, as well as critically scrutinizing the intersection of science and society based on environmental and social values.
I am particularly interested in evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), molecular biology, systems biology, and (most recently) neuropsychiatry.
Winter 2023 (Tuesday Thursday 12:30–1:50pm)
PHIL 412 (Topics in Philosophy of Science) / PHIL 510 (Philosophy of Science) – Science and Values
Different kinds of values clearly have an impact on science, however, proponents of the traditional view that science is value-free have maintained a distinction between epistemic values and social-political values, where only the former are a proper part of science. One can likewise claim that science fulfills its social function best by scientists providing reliable knowledge without being guided by social or environmental considerations.
In this seminar on science and values, we will critically discuss different views on how values—including social and environmental values—can play a legitimate role in scientific practice (and without undermining scientific objectivity). The seminar will devote substantial space to feminist analyses of the biological and behavioural sciences, including the question as to whether the best response to sexist and empirically flawed views promoted by past and current science is to work towards an unbiased, value-free science or towards a science that self-consciously endorses such social values as equity. In the context of socially responsible science and socially engaged philosophy of science, we will address how scientists and philosophers can interact with stakeholders and their value perspectives.