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Wilfrid Laurier University Laurier Brantford
September 25, 2017
Canadian Excellence
Stephen Haller

Dr. Stephen Haller

Associate Professor, Society, Culture, and Environment

Contact Information
Phone: 519.756.8228 ext.5705
Fax: 759-2127
Office Location: CB 115

Languages Spoken



I grew up in Burlington, Ontario and spent my childhood reading, cycling and discussing Utopias. I went to university to study science and have been employed as a geologist and a chemist. While working for the federal government, I conducted research on environmental problems relating to acid rain, solar energy, and the disposal of radioactive waste. I was then bitten by the philosophical bug, as a result of my reading the philosophy of science. This interest grew until I decided to leave my job as a scientist in order to study philosophy full-time. After teaching at various universities for a few years, I joined the Contemporary Studies program at Laurier Brantford in 2000. My other interests include cycle-touring, and playing the fiddle.


  • PhD, Philosophy, Guelph-McMaster doctoral program
  • MA, Philosophy, Dalhousie University
  • BSc (Hons.), Chemistry and Geology, Carleton University

Research Interests:

I am interested in philosophical problems related to science and ethics. My areas of specialty are the philosophy of science, applied ethics, and policy-making. I have a particular interest in environmental issues, especially predictions of global catastrophe that might result from, say, overpopulation, global warming, or nuclear winter. I examine whether the resources of science are adequate to supply the kind of information we need to make decisions about these predictions, and the ethics of decision-making under uncertainty and great risk.

I am also interested in the ethics of tourism. Is it possible to be an ethical tourist? Are there policies that governments should or should not adopt to control the type and amount of tourism? What responsibilities fall on the individual tourists themselves?

Representative Publications:

“In defense of tourist photography.” (2014) Journal of Tourism and Development. No 21/22 Vol. 2. pp 413-423

“A Proposal for How to Organize the Public Funding of Science” James Gerrie and Stephen

Grave Concerns: Concepts of Self and Respect for the Dead; International Journal of Applied Philosophy 21:2, Fall 2007. pp 195-212.

The Role of Science in Public Policy: Higher Reason or Reason for Hire?  Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics,  Spring 2007 (co-author James Gerrie)

Apocalypse Soon?: Wagering on Warnings of Global Catastrophe, McGill-Queen's University Press, Fall 2002

"A Prudential Argument for Precaution Under Uncertainty and High Risk." Journal of Ethics and the Environment (Spring 2000)

"Holodecks & Hyperspace: Is Illusion Better than Reality?" in The Medium As Message: A Symposium on Theory, Mass Media, and Popular Culture, Doug Mann, Stephen F. Haller, Heidi Nelson Hochenedel (eds.). Kabkort Publishers, Spring 2000