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SPPH 581T Science, Values, and Public Policy

Jul 30, 2015 |

This course examines central philosophical issues generated from the intersection of science, human values, and public welfare. Examples include public participation in science, special-interest science, and neglected diseases.

A successful student in this course will:

  • Gain knowledge of major positions, arguments, and approaches in the field of socially relevant philosophy of science.
  • Improve critical reasoning and writing abilities, and especially the ability to write a research paper in philosophy.
  • Appreciate the relevance of philosophy of science to important issues outside of class.


Time and Location:
Term 1
Monday 9:00am – 12:00pm
B138, SPPH

Dr. Daniel Steel

Dr. Daniel Steel

Assistant Professor Daniel Steel

Dr. Steel believes in the value of motivating abstract philosophical discussions by reference to real-world problems. “Drawing connections between philosophy and pressing contemporary issues can be an effective means of teaching philosophy. But more fundamentally, it is an important reason why it matters to do philosophy in the first place.”

Dr. Steel likens his learning philosophy to learning to ride a bicycle: it is primarily a matter of learning ‘how’. rather than learning ‘that’. Dr. Steel states that philosophy demands the ability to reconstruct complex chains of reasoning, to critically assess arguments, and to creatively rearrange concepts to devise solutions to problems. He believes that these abilities can only be learned through practice, not from sitting and listening and that active learning, then, is an important component of acquiring the critical reasoning skills required for doing philosophy.

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