Campus & Community

Safra Foundation Center welcomes graduate fellows

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The Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics (formerly the Center for Ethics and the Professions) recently announced its Graduate Fellows in Ethics for the 2004-05 academic year. The fellows are Harvard-enrolled graduate students and professional students who focus on ethics topics in their research. During the fellowship year, they will pursue philosophical topics relevant to political and professional practice. Michael Blake, professor of philosophy and public policy at the Kennedy School of Government (KSG), will chair the graduate fellows seminar.

Hélène Emilie Landemore is a Ph.D. student in political theory in the Department of Government. Her dissertation is on the notion of probability and risk in moral and political judgments. She is interested in the

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tension between objective and subjective probability and which of these should be the basis for decisions in ethical and political questions, particularly those related to the fairness of contracts. She is also interested in questions of global justice, especially the question of a world state. She has been a teaching fellow for courses in political and moral philosophy.

Amalia Amaya Navarro is an S.J.D. candidate at Harvard Law School (HLS) and a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy of law at the European University Institute. Her dissertation develops a coherentist model of legal reasoning. By drawing on coherence theories of moral and epistemic justification, she analyses the concept of legal coherence, its role in legal argument, and the relationship between coherence, truth, and rightness in adjudication. Navarro is a Clark Byse Fellow at HLS, and teaches a workshop on “Reasoning about Evidence in Law.”

Japa Pallikkathayil is a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy. Her interests are in moral philosophy, political philosophy, and the philosophy of action. In her dissertation, on the nature and normative status of coercion, she is developing an account of when and why it is wrong for one person to coerce another. She is examining possible justifications for the state’s use of coercive power against citizens, which will ultimately yield an account of the proper limits on such power. Pallikkathayil has been a teaching fellow for political philosophy and moral reasoning classes.

Simon Rippon is a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy. His dissertation centers on whether Rawls-style reflective equilibrium is sufficient for claiming warrant for our moral beliefs, or whether actual or possible disagreement under those conditions can undermine our claims to warrant. Rippon holds a B.A. with honors in philosophy and theology from Oxford, and has taught core and philosophy classes at Harvard in moral theory, contemporary political philosophy, meta-ethics, and evolutionary ethics.

Annie Stilz is a Ph.D. candidate in government. Her dissertation investigates questions of authority, obligation, and political legitimacy. She is interested in whether we can give an account of legitimacy and obligation that is not a patriotic account – one that does not invoke or rely upon shared passions or sentiments in citizens. Stilz’s interests are in modern moral and political philosophy and in the history of political thought, particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries. She has been a teaching fellow for courses on slavery and political thought, rights, and social studies. She is a resident tutor in government at Pforzheimer House.

The graduate fellows join a growing community of teachers and scholars dedicated to the study of ethics. In addition to its fellowships for faculty and graduate and professional students, the Safra Foundation Center sponsors a public lecture series on applied and professional ethics, and co-sponsors, with the President’s Office, the Universitywide Tanner Lectures on Human Values.