Science and Ethics
The morality of science has been a debated topic at least since the emergence of modern science. This course examines scientific discourse and practice as presented by philosophy of science. After a survey of some of the main approaches to the justification of scientific theories, such as confirmationism and falsificationism, Thomas Kuhn’s model of scientific revolution, and Paul Feyerabend’s anarchistic position, we will look at the history of scientific ideas, notably through the study of Michel Foucault’s, The Order of Things. We will then explore the intersection of values and ethics to consider the old cliché that “science is fundamentally a-moral” through the study of various cases provided by the professor and the students, such as human experimentation, animal experimentation, stem-cell research, pharmaco-centrism, environmental responsibility and many others. Finally, we will explore research ethics and research ethics bodies in Canada.
Tuesday, 5:30-8:30 p.m.