Michigan State University

Holmes Hall

Room W-25C

919 East Shaw Lane

East Lansing, MI 48825

(517) 884-0592


Sean A. Valles

Assistant Professor

Michigan State University

Lyman Briggs College

Department of Philosophy


Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior Program

About Me

I have a dual appointment in the MSU Lyman Briggs College (75%) and the Department of Philosophy (25%). 

My research spans a range of topics related to philosophy of population health, from the use of evidence in medical genetics to the roles played by race concepts in epidemiology.

My Papers

(2013) Validity and Utility in Biological Traits. Biological Theory, 8(1), 93-102.

(2012) Heterogeneity of Risk within Racial Groups, a Challenge for Public Health Programs. Preventive Medicine, 55(5), 405-408

(2012) Should Direct to Consumer Personalized Genomic Medicine Remain Unregulated? A Rebuttal of the Defenses. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 55(2), 250-265.

(2012) Evolutionary Medicine at Twenty: Rethinking Adaptationism and Disease. Biology and Philosophy, 27(2), 241-261.

(2012) Lionel Penrose and the Concept of Normal Variation in Human Intelligence. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 43(1), 231-289.

(2010) The Mystery of the Mystery of Common Genetic Diseases. Biology and Philosophy, 25(2), 183-201.

My dissertation, Explaining the Evolution of Common Genetic Disease, examined the evidentiary problems facing researchers who attempt to explain why certain genetic diseases, such as  Tay Sachs disease and cystic fibrosis, are unexpectedly common. 

2013-2014 Courses

•LB 133 Introduction to History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science (Fall)

•PHL 344 Ethical Issue in Health Care (Spring)

•LB 492 Human Experimentation (Spring)

2010, PhD

Indiana University

  1. Department of History and Philosophy of Science

  2. Dissertation Advisor: Elisabeth A. Lloyd

2008, MA

Indiana University 

  1. Department of History and Philosophy of Science

2005, BA

St. John’s College-Annapolis

  1. Liberal Arts (“The Great Books Program”)