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A Dialogue on the Ethics of Science: Henri Poincaré and Pope Francis

Danne, Nicholas (2021) A Dialogue on the Ethics of Science: Henri Poincaré and Pope Francis. [Preprint]

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Abstract

To teach the ethics of science to science majors, I follow several teachers in the literature who recommend “persona” writing, or the student construction of dialogues between ethical thinkers of interest. To engage science majors in particular, and especially those new to academic philosophy, I recommend constructing persona dialogues from Henri Poincaré’s essay, “Ethics and Science” (1963/1913), and the non-theological third chapter of Pope Francis’s (2015) encyclical on the environment, Laudato si. This pairing of interlocutors offers two advantages. The first is that science students are likely to recognize both names, since Poincaré appears in undergraduate mathematics and physics textbooks, and because Francis is an environmentalist celebrity. Hence students (in my experience) show more interest in these figures than in other philosophers. The second advantage is that the third chapter of Laudato si reads like an implicit rebuttal of Poincaré’s essay in many respects, and so contriving a dialogue between those authors both facilitates classroom discussion, and deserves attention from professional ethicists in its own right. In this paper, I present my own contrived dialogue between Francis and Poincaré, not for assigning to students as a reading, but as a template for an effective assignment product, and as a crib sheet for educators to preview the richly antiparallel themes between the two works.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Danne, Nicholasdann0027@umn.edu0000-0002-5893-9358
Keywords: persona writing; ethics of technology; ethics of science; engineering ethics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Climate Science and Meteorology
Specific Sciences > Environmental Science
General Issues > Ethical Issues
General Issues > Science and Religion
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science Education
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Technology
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Dr. Nicholas Danne
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2021 03:43
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2021 03:43
Item ID: 19132
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Climate Science and Meteorology
Specific Sciences > Environmental Science
General Issues > Ethical Issues
General Issues > Science and Religion
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science Education
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Technology
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19132

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