Jamie Shaw

Course Instructor
VC 315, Victoria College, 91 Charles St. W., University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1K7


Fields of Study


I completed my PhD in philosophy at the Univesity of Western Ontario under the supervision of Kathleen Okruhlik upon defending my dissertation entitled "A Pluralism Worth Having:  Feyerabend's Well-Ordered Science"

I am a philosopher of science, specifically interested in science funding policy. Specifically, I am interested in the methodological and political dimensions of determining research priorities. My current research looks at the limitations of peer review for identifying research promise, the unpredictability of scientific research, the relationship between scientific knowledge and practical projects, and ethical limitations of pursuit. This has led me to investigate recently devised funding allocation methods, especially funding science by lottery. 

This research is closely connected to my interest in 20th century philosophy of science. I am especially interested in Feyerabend's pluralism and its possible implications for various topics concerning the place of science in democratic societies. I am also interested in Arne Naess' work on pluralism and its relationship to deep ecology, and many topics with other historical figures including Kuhn, Polanyi, Wittgenstein, Bartley, and Popper.

Finally, I am also interested in environmental ethics - specifically the place of 'utopian' technological aspirations, the relationship between uncertainty and decisions for climate change response, and conservation practices

Selected Publications

Interpreting Feyerabend: Critical Essays (edited with Karim Bschir). Cambridge University Press, 2021.
Shaw, J. 2021. “Feyerabend, Funding, and the Freedom of Science: The Case of Traditional Chinese Medicine.” European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 11: 37-54. 
Shaw, J. 2021. “Duhem on Good Sense and Theory Pursuit: From Virtue to Social Epistemology.” International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 33(2): 67-85.  
Shaw, J. 2021. “Feyerabend’s Well-Ordered Science: How an Anarchist Distributes Funds.” Synthese, 68: 419-449.  
Shaw, J. 2020. “Feyerabend and Manufactured Disagreement: Reflections on Expertise, Consensus, and Science Policy.” Synthese, pp. 1-32. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-020-02538-x
Shaw, J. 2020. “The Revolt Against Rationalism: Feyerabend’s Critical Philosophy.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 80: 110-122. 
Shaw, J. 2020. “The Problem of the Empirical Basis in the Popperian Tradition: Popper, Bartley, and Feyerabend.” HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, 10(2): 524-561. 
Donhauser, J. & Shaw, J. 2019. “Knowledge Transfer in Theoretical Ecology: Implications for Incommensurability, Voluntarism, and Pluralism.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 77: 11-20. 
Shaw, J. 2017. “Was Feyerabend an Anarchist? The Structure(s) of ‘Anything Goes’.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Part A, 64: 11-21.