About the Visiting Ethicist
All communities benefit from the nourishment of fresh perspectives, knowledge, and encouragement. In light of this, the Jackson Center's Board of Directors invites an internationally recognized ethics scholar to the Coastal Carolina University campus each year. During the visit, the speaker will participate in the following activities.
- The Jackson Visiting Ethicist delivers a public lecture that is free and open to the community. The lecture features ample time for audience participation and discussion.
- The Jackson Visiting Ethicist leads a private seminar the morning following the lecture for selected students of philosophy and other disciplines that relate to the field of study of the ethics scholar.
The Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values has had the pleasure of bringing some highly recognized ethicists to Coastal Carolina University. Jackson Visiting Ethicists are well respected in the fields of business ethics, environmental ethics and global ethics, respectively.
2019 Visiting Ethicist
Cora Diamond, Kenan Professor of Philosophy Emerita (University of Virginia)
Can any way of acting be ruled out that does not depend on an appeal to divine prohibition? Taking a historical approach to this question, renowned moral philosopher Cora Diamond will discuss suicide, inoculation, the treatment of the dead, the treatment of animals, and other issues that have been hugely controversial, in an attempt to determine if human reason by itself is ever equal to resolving moral dilemmas.
Former Visiting Ethicists
2018 Visiting Ethicist
Jennifer Frey, Ph.D. (University of South Carolina)
Dr. Jennifer Frey, Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina was this year's Visiting Ethicist of the Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values. Frey's research is focused on questions at the intersection of virtue ethics, philosophy of action, and theories of rationality. In her presentation she argued that self-transcendence, i.e. our ability to relate to questions beyond our own self-concern, is a crucial component in a virtuous and happy life.
2017 Visiting Ethicist
Mark LeBar, Ph.D. (Florida State University)
Dr. Mark LeBar is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at Florida State University. He earned his PhD from the University of Arizona; MA from the University of Washington; MBA from Pepperdine University and BA from Westmont College. While at Coastal Carolina University, Lebar discussed equality as an ideal. He highlighted previous and past philosophical theories of equality and argued that much of what we consider to be a problem is rather a concern about other things, for example, poverty. LeBar defended a theory of moral equality in which we all deserve to be treated in a morally equal way.
2016 Visiting Ethicist
Ben Laurence, Ph.D. (University of Chicago)
Professor Laurence of the University of Chicago discussed the challenges of different forms of inequality such as economic, opportunity and democratic. Laurence's presentation included the basic requirements in each of these fields and discuss how our society falls short of satisfying the morally just in each of these areas.
2015 Visiting Ethicist
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, (Duke University)
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, the Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy at Duke University, discussed various questions about the relationship between neuroscience and moral responsibility. Do recent results in neuroscience support the idea that humans are not morally responsible for what they do? Professor Armstrong argues that the key in answering this question is a clear understanding of the nature of mental causation.
2014 Visiting Ethicist
Daniel Hausman (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Dan Hausman attended Harvard College, where he majored first in biochemistry and then received his B.A. in 1969 in English history and literature. He then earned a Master of Arts in teaching at New York University and then his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1978 at Columbia University. He has taught at the University of Maryland at College Park, Carnegie Mellon University, and, since 1988 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he has visited at the Institute for Advanced Studies and the London School of Economics. Most of his research has focused on methodological, metaphysical, and ethical issues at the boundaries between economics and philosophy, and in collaboration with Michael McPherson, he founded the journal Economics and Philosophy and edited it for its first 10 years. He is also the editor of The Philosophy of Economics: An Anthology (3rd edition 2007) and the author of many books. During his presentation at Coastal, he discussed why people should care about poverty which was the keynote address for the Jackson Center's Poverty Conference.
2013 Visiting Ethicist
Russ Shafer-Landau (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Russ Shafer-Landau is professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He works primarily in ethics and philosophy of law and has published extensively in those areas. He is the author of Moral Realism: A Defence. He is also the author of several introductory works in ethics, including The Fundamentals of Ethics and Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? He is editor-in-chief of Oxford Studies in Metaethics. During his discussion, he argued that same-sex marriage ought to be legally permitted.