UM to host ethics conference October 6-8

Published 5:00 pm Monday, September 12, 2022

The Center for Practical Ethics at the University of Mississippi will host the 2022 Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum (SEAC) Conference on Oct. 6-8. Two of the keynote lectures will be open to the public.

Dr. Brian Berkey’s seminar will be on the topics of philosophy, public engagement, and social movements. His seminar will take place on Friday, Oct. 7, from 11 – 12:30 pm, at The Inn, Ballroom A and B.

Berkey is an Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He works in moral and political philosophy, including business ethics and environmental ethics. He has written on issues such as the demandingness of morality, individual and corporate obligations of justice, ethical issues arising with regard to climate change, exploitation, effective altruism, animal ethics, collective obligations, ethical consumerism, and the relationship between ideal and non-ideal theory. He is also interested in methodological issues in ethics and political philosophy, including the appropriate role of appeals to intuitions. His work has appeared in journals such as Philosophy & Public Affairs, Mind, Philosophical Studies, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Utilitas, Business Ethics Quarterly, Journal of Business Ethics, and Journal of Applied Philosophy.

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“Many would agree that altruism is a good and valuable thing, necessary for helping to move our world forward. But in doing so, we must make sure that we are not imposing our conceptions of what is good and valuable on those that we desire to help,” says Berkey. “In this talk, I examine the ethical considerations and principles needed to inform quality engagement with targeted populations to ensure that our altruistic actions and projects are not only effective, but also ethical.”

Dr. Jason Baehr’s lecture will cover intellectual virtues and ethics education. The lecture will take place Saturday, Oct. 8, from 11:45 – 1:15 pm, in Bryant Hall, room 209.

Baehr is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. His work focuses on intellectual virtues and their relevance to educational theory and practice. From 2012-2015, he was director of the Intellectual Virtues and Education Project at LMU, which was funded by a grant of over $1 million from the John Templeton Foundation and included the founding of the Intellectual Virtues Academy of Long Beach, a charter middle school in Southern California. His books include Deep in Thought: A Practical Guide to Teaching for Intellectual Virtues, Intellectual Virtue and Education: Essays in Applied Virtue Epistemology, and The Inquiring Mind: On Intellectual Virtues and Virtue Epistemology. Baehr has done extensive work with educators at all levels centered around the theory and practice of educating for virtues like curiosity, open-mindedness, intellectual humility, and intellectual courage.

“Many would agree that education should help students become better people and better citizens,” said Baehr. “Yet, the immediate focus of most teachers is academic: they are tasked with imparting knowledge and skills to their students. How, if at all, can academic teaching and learning promote the ethical and civic aims of education? I offer a response to this question that focuses on “intellectual virtues,” which are the character attributes of good thinkers and learners, such as curiosity, open-mindedness, intellectual humility, and intellectual courage. I explain what intellectual virtues are, how they are related to certain ethical and civic values, and why educating for intellectual virtues provides a way of promoting these values that can be deeply and naturally integrated across the academic curriculum.”