Campus & Community

Center for Ethics selects graduate fellows

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The Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics has selected six graduate fellows in ethics for the 2005-06 academic year. The fellows, who study ethical problems in law, political science, philosophy, and medicine, were chosen from a pool of outstanding Harvard graduate students who are writing dissertations or are engaged in major research on topics in practical ethics. Arthur Applbaum, professor of ethics and public policy at the Kennedy School of Government, directs the program. This year, Lucius Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy Frances Kamm will join the graduate fellows seminar.

The new graduate fellows are as follows:

Christopher Furlong, a graduate student in philosophy, is evaluating the merits of a particular challenge to moral and practical reasoning stemming from the possibility of evolutionary, psychoanalytic, and other naturalistic explanations of moral beliefs. Furlong holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Texas, Austin, and has taught core and philosophy department classes at Harvard in moral theory, Kantian ethics, metaethics, and free will.

Anja Karnein, visiting graduate fellow in ethics, received a Ph.D. in politics from Brandeis University. She is exploring the ethical implications of contemporary biomedicine in Germany and the United States, focusing on the historical and sociopolitical context in which the moral debate in both countries is taking place. She has been a teaching fellow at Brandeis for courses in political theory, American government and civil liberties, and at Harvard for Michael Sandel’s “Justice” course.

Paul Katsafanas, a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy, is interested in moral philosophy, philosophy of action, and philosophy of mind. His dissertation, which develops an account of the role of self-awareness in human action, lies at the intersection of these three areas. He holds a B.A. with honors in philosophy and mathematics from Vassar College. At Harvard, Katsafanas has been a teaching fellow for classes in moral reasoning, philosophy of action, virtue ethics, and existentialism.

Reshma Jagsi, a resident physician in radiation oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, is studying health-care decision making, including resource allocation, and the ethics and process of medical education. She will examine the ethical implications of direct-to-patient advertising of medical treatment. She has studied at Harvard College, Harvard Medical School, and Oxford, and has been a teaching fellow in philosophy. Jagsi has held internships at the White House and the British Parliament.

Vlad Perju is an S.J.D. candidate. He is investigating how successful modern constitutional structures and forms of reasoning are in dealing with the deep and legitimate disagreement that characterizes contemporary democracies. He holds an LL.B. from the University of Bucharest, a maîtrise in European law cum laude from the Sorbonne, an LL.M. summa cum laude from the European Academy of Legal Theory, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School.

Rahul Sagar is a doctoral candidate in political theory in the department of government. He examines the justifications for and consequences of state secrecy in democratic societies. Other interests include modern and ancient political philosophy, international relations, and Indian foreign policy. He has been a teaching fellow in the core program at Harvard. In 2000, Sagar received a B.A. in politics, philosophy, and economics (at Balliol College, Oxford).

These fellows will join the faculty fellows and senior scholars in ethics, and will participate in the center’s seminars, public lectures, conferences, and other activities. Visit for more information.