@HarvardEthics: Celebrating 30 Years at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics


Thu - Sat, May 4 to May 6, 5:00pm - 2:30pm


Various - Harvard University

The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University is turning 30! To mark this occasion, we are hosting a two-and-a-half-day celebration, @HarvardEthics: Celebrating 30 Years at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics from Thursday to Saturday, May 4-6, 2017.

Thursday, May 4, 2017
5:00 - 6:30pm             Keynote Lecture
"In Defense of Spies?: Espionage in War" by philosopher Cécile Fabre (All Souls College, University of Oxford).

Abstract: One of the deepest difficulties faced by belligerents and their individual members is the problem of uncertainty: How can they know whether their war, and individual acts within the war, meet the requirement of the just war? By procuring information about their enemy. How can they do that? By spying on them. Interestingly, just war theorists have not said much about espionage. In this talk, I make a stab at filling the gap. It might seem an easy task. For, to the extent that we are permitted to go to war and kill in it, surely we are permitted to spy – are we not? Yes, and no. I argue that defending espionage requires more argumentative work than merely settling on the morality of a particular war and of its constituent harmful acts. In particular, we must attend to the ways in which spies obtain the needed intelligence – notably deception and treason.

Cécile Fabre is a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Oxford, as well as a Fellow of the British Academy. She has written extensively on distributive justice, democracy, and the rights we have over our own body. She has just completed a two-volume project on the ethics of war and peace (Cosmopolitan War, OUP, 2012; Cosmopolitan Peace, OUP, 2016), and is currently working on the ethics of economic statecraft for Harvard University Press.

Friday, May 5, 2017
9:30 - 10:00am           Registration

10:00 - 10:30am         Opening Remarks

10:30am - 12:00pm    Ethics & the End of Life
Ezekiel Emanuel and Frances Kamm will participate in a conversation, moderated by Arthur Applbaum, on dilemmas surrounding end-of-life care and decisions to prolong life through medical and technological advances.

12:00 - 1:00pm           Lunch Break

1:15 - 2:45pm            Preparing for Public Office
Christopher Robichaud will be joined by Yuli Tamir, former Minister of Education in Israel, Richard Painter, former chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, and Larry Lessig for a discussion of how one prepares for public office, and where preparation will inevitably fall short. An ethics simulation for the whole audience will follow the conversation.

2:45 - 3:00pm            Break

3:00 - 3:15pm            Recognition Ceremony

3:15 - 4:45pm            The Engaged University
Drew Faust, Dennis Thompson, and Elizabeth Kiss will join us for a discussion, moderated by Danielle Allen, about the role of universities in public life and some of the pressing ethical challenges facing universities today.

Saturday, May 6, 2017
9:30 - 10:00am          Registration

Concurrent Morning Panels:
10:00 - 11:30am        The Ethics of Economic Ordeals
Featuring Nir Eyal, Richard Zeckhauser, and Julie L. Rose; moderated by Anders Herlitz. Economic ordeals are, roughly, interventions that deliberately make access to products or services slightly harder, so as to "weed out" recipients who need them less or who are otherwise less likely to use them. This panel will explore the ethical dimensions of economic ordeals, particularly in the areas of health and development, where their usage is growing.

10:00 - 11:30am        Institutional Corruption: The Lab and its Legacy
Featuring Center alumni Brooke Williams, Sunita Sah, and Christopher Robertson: moderated by Larry Lessig. This panel will offer a cross-disciplinary exploration of research that started in the IC Lab and continues its mission across a range of fields, including journalism, medicine, government, and law.

12:00 - 1:00pm         Themed Lunch Discussions
Join fellow alumni and faculty affiliates of the Center for a conversation over lunch on a topic of keen interest to the Center during the past 30 years. Lunchtime topics include:
- Bioethics
- Diversity, Justice, and Democracy
- Institutional Corruption
- Global Justice
- Political Economy
- Ethics and the Professions

Afternoon Panel:
1:00 - 2:30pm           The Moral Psychology of Climate Change
Featuring Nancy Rosenblum, Eric Beerbohm, and Alison McQueen, this panel will discuss what moral and political philosophers have done and not done in thinking about this world historical threat.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.