“Value theory” looks at what things are good or bad, how good or bad they are, and most fundamentally, what it means for a thing to be either of these. As Canada Research Chair in Value Theory and the Philosophy of Public Policy, Dr. Iwao Hirose is developing a framework of value theory and applying it to various contexts of public policy, such as how best to allocate scarce healthcare resources.
Hirose aims to develop and defend a comprehensive theory about the philosophical foundations of global population health measures. Among other things, he and his research team are looking at the Global Burden of Disease Study, which estimates mortality and morbidity from major diseases, injuries and risk factors at global, national and regional levels based on the metric of disability-adjusted life years. They are measuring and aggregating the “badness” of both premature death and nonfatal diseases.