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Problems written for an Inquiry Course in Philosophy:

Between Jan-April 2005, I participated in an Inquiry course on philosophy co-ordinated by the Dept. of Philosophy at the University of Calgary. The course was aimed at first year undergraduate science students in an undergraduate health sciences programme. The students who took this course have already taken an earlier Inquiry course where they dealt with the problems of communication between scientists themselves and between scientists and the public through the mediation of journalists.

 For this particular course, the course co-ordinator (Dr. M. Ereshefsky) wanted students to appreciate the general approaches taken by philosophers and tailor it to students who were in a science based program.  The course was taught by 3 separate Faculty members who took slightly different approaches. Though the course itself was not problem-based, I chose to teach my section in a PBL format.

The entire class was divided into 3 sections. We adopted a rotation format whereby each large group of 24 students would spend 3 weeks with each preceptor wrestling with specific issues. I chose to get students to struggle with the notion of distinguishing what was termed disease and non-disease. Since there were 3 sets of students, I had to write slightly different problems so that even if the students talked amongst themselves, each set would get to see only one of the problems. In the pages to follow, I give the 3 problems that I wrote.

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