The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics seeks to strengthen teaching and research about pressing ethical issues; to foster sound norms of ethical reasoning and civic discussion; and to share the work of our community in the public interest. 

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Upcoming Events

2019 Apr 23

Ethics Pedagogy Showcase

Tue - Mon, Apr 23 to Apr 29, 10:00am - 4:30pm

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The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics has supported the scholarship and practice of four Fellows in the 2018-2019 academic year through the Ethics Pedagogy Initiative. These Ethics Pedagogy Fellows (EPFs) have spent their year broadly supporting the teaching and learning of ethics across the...

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Latest News

Chris Robichaud on Using Dungeons & Dragons to Teach Ethics

April 11, 2019

Chris Robichaud, Director of Pedagogical Innovation, recently gave a TED talk on using Dungeons & Dragons to teach ethics. In his fun talk, he explains how he worked the key principles of D & D into an ethics simulation used to train future policymakers at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. You can watch the full talk here.

You can participate in another of Dr. Robichaud's simulations on Tuesday, April 23rd at 10:00 AM at the opening session of our...

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Former Berggruen Fellow, Sam Moyn, Appointed to Endowed Chair at Yale Law School

April 11, 2019

Samuel Moyn, former Berggruen Fellow, was recently named the Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School.

Moyn's work focuses on international law, human rights, the law of war, and legal thought, in both historical and current perspective. He also serves as a professor of history, researching a diverse range of subjects in intellectual history, especially 20th-century European moral and political theory.

You can read the...

Read more about Former Berggruen Fellow, Sam Moyn, Appointed to Endowed Chair at Yale Law School

Announcing our Ethics Pedagogy Fellows for 2019-20!

April 10, 2019

The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University is happy to announce our Ethics Pedagogy Fellows for the 2019-20 academic year. 

The Edmond J. Safra Center Ethics Pedagogy Fellows:

Javier Caride is a PhD candidate in philosophy. His research centers around topics in metaethics, Aristotelian philosophy, and naturalism. He is particularly interested in questions about how we come to understand our natures as human beings...

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For the Record

‘For the Record’ is a feature where our Fellows-in-Residence and Graduate Fellows have a chance to present their research ideas informally, reflect on their experience at the Center, or report on Center events.

This month's For the Record comes from Graduate Fellow Rachel Achs, PhD candidate in Philosophy. Her primary research is in ethics and moral psychology, although she has also long maintained an interest in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant on a breadth of topics ranging from metaphysics to aesthetics.

Blame and Conventional Meaning
Rachel Achs 

Many theoretical questions seem especially pressing in the context of the unfolding #MeToo movement. Those most related to my own work in moral philosophy are about blame and its warrant: What makes it appropriate to blame people for their mistakes, particularly when blaming involves an attempt or desire to retaliate against an offender by harming that person? And what sorts of penalties are appropriately matched to what sorts of violations? 

One thing that makes it difficult to theorize about blame is that it’s not a particularly unified concept. There are diverse ways of blaming – frustrated yelling, cold silence, public “calling out,” private resentment, punitive sanctions – and philosophers have disagreed over what, if any, essential ingredients blame has. Some have thought that blame consists in a set of judgments about wrongdoing and its consequences; others have thought that blame essentially includes a physiological emotional reaction; and others still, a way of behaving, or a desire that the wrongdoing not have occurred, or a reorientation of one’s relationship with the alleged wrongdoer. In my own view, what unifies the diverse manifestations of blame into a singular phenomenon is actually the blamer’s own conception of what she is doing. Read more

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