Jeff Behrends

Jeff Behrends

Director of Ethics and Technology Initiatives
Associate Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, Harvard University
Jeff portrait 2

Jeff Behrends joined the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University in 2016, after spending three years at Illinois State University. His research interests are largely concerned with meta-ethics and practical reasons, or reasons for action. His published work includes papers in applied political philosophy, normative ethics, and metaethics. He has written, for example, on moral epistemology, the metaphysical grounding of reasons for action, and the conditions under which an action promotes or serves a desire without satisfying the desire. Other interests include topics in well-being, and in particular the relationship between well-being and death. Behrends completed his PhD in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, under the supervision of Russ Shafer-Landau.

As Director of Ethics and Technology Initiatives, Jeff assists the Director and Executive Director in advancing the Center's goals related to its new research theme, the Ethics of Technological and Biomedical Innovation. He will also work with departments and other academic units across Harvard that are eager to integrate ethics education into their curricula, inspired by the approach developed in the Embedded EthiCS @ Harvard program, of which he is Co-Director. 

Behrends was our inaugural Ethics and Technology Fellow in 2018-19, and his fellowship was supported in part by the Center for Research on Computation and Society.

Center Leadership

Ethics and Technology Fellow

Faculty Associate