Department of PhilosophyWestern Arts and Humanities

PhD Student Profiles

2013 Vanier Scholar

Andrew Peterson

petersonBy building bridges between the humanities and sciences, Andrew Peterson hopes to address pressing conceptual problems head on. A member of both the Rotman Institute of Philosophy and the Brain and Mind Institute, Peterson analyzes the ethical and epistemological problems related to the use of brain-computer interfaces in patients with acquired brain injuries.

“Questions regarding the verification of decision-making capacity in this patient group, assessment of a patient’s ability to experience pain and the disclosure of diagnostic information to patients’ families have presented difficult conceptual challenges for scientists working in this field,” he said.

The belief is solutions to these issues not only require the historical strengths of philosophy in identifying and clarifying important questions, but also an understanding how the problems arise in the course of scientific practice. The goal is that novel solutions will be produced that have a direct and measurable impact on the lives of brain injured patients and their families.