Campus & Community

Safra Ethics Center welcomes fellows, senior scholars

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The Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics welcomed its new fellows and senior scholars for the 2008-09 academic year. The faculty fellows were chosen from a pool of applicants from colleges, universities, and professional institutions throughout the United States and several other countries.

“This is an extraordinarily talented group of scholars, and I look forward to working with them,” said Professor of Ethics and Public Policy Arthur Applbaum, acting director of the center. The fellows will be in residence conducting research on issues in ethics in the professions and public life, and participating in the center’s weekly seminar, faculty workshops, conferences, and other activities. Elaine Scarry, Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value, will join the fellows as senior scholar in ethics.

In addition, eight Harvard graduate students have been named Edmond J. Safra Graduate Fellows in Ethics. These fellowships are awarded to outstanding students who are writing dissertations on philosophical topics relevant to political and professional practice. They devote their time to an approved course of study in practical ethics and participate in a weekly ethics seminar. Frances Kamm, Lucius Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and professor of philosophy, Department of Philosophy, will join the graduate fellows as senior scholar in ethics.

The Faculty Fellows in Ethics are as follows:

Anne Barnhill received her Ph.D. in philosophy from New York University in 2008. Her dissertation, “Beyond Consent,” explores the place of consent in sexual morality. Her areas of specialization include normative ethics, applied ethics, feminist philosophy, and social philosophy. Barnhill will examine the ethics of manipulation within personal relationships. She has been named the Edmond J. Safra Faculty Fellow in Ethics.

Ulrike Heuer is a lecturer and director of the Center for Ethics and Metaethics, Department of Philosophy, Leeds University. Her philosophical research has focused primarily on foundational issues in the theory of practical reason and the theory of value. Heuer will explore the possibility of explaining deontological reasons within a value-based account of practical reasons.

Mark R. Reiff is a lecturer in legal and political philosophy at the University of Manchester School of Law. He is the author of “Punishment, Compensation, and Law: A Theory of Enforceability,” as well as papers on topics within legal, political, and moral philosophy. Reiff will work on a book provisionally titled “Politectonics: The Struggle Between Liberalism and Perfectionism.”

Tanina Rostain is professor of law and co-director of the Center for Professional Values and Practice at New York Law School. Her work focuses on the empirical investigation of professional norms in corporate and tax practice. During the fellowship year, she will examine the role of tax professionals in the rise of the tax shelter market, 1993-2003.

Alex Voorhoeve is a senior lecturer in philosophy at the London School of Economics. His projects are on the topics liberal egalitarianism and rational choice theory and moral decision making. He will also explore the application of ideas about responsibility and preference change to health care policies.

The Edmond J. Safra Graduate Fellows in Ethics are as follows:

Patricio A. Fernandez, Ph.D. candidate in philosophy and economics, focuses on the notion of practical knowledge in action theory and normative ethics. He has done work in the economic analysis of legal systems and is interested in the intersection of economics, theories of practical reason, and questions of normativity. He holds a B.A. in economics from the Catholic University of Chile.

Havva G. Guney-Ruebenacker, SJ.D. candidate at Harvard Law School, focuses on traditional Islamic law and modern Islamic legal reforms in the area of slavery and family law, comparing developments in Islamic law with the modernization of family law in Western legal systems. Guney-Ruebenacker studied both major schools of Islamic law in Saudi Arabia and in Iran. She holds an LL.M. from Harvard and an LL.M. in European Union law and legal history from Cambridge University.

Brodi Kemp, Ph.D. candidate in government, focuses on contemporary political philosophy and its intersection with moral philosophy and law. She is working on the problem of global justice, examining how private (nonstate) actors, including international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) and private military contractors might help us realize justice on a global scale. She holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and was a teaching fellow in political philosophy and legal theory at Yale and Harvard.

Arnon Levy, Ph.D. candidate in philosophy, focuses on the role of idealization in scientific explanation in biology, and the applicability of ideas and idealizations from evolutionary biology to the study of moral change within society. At Harvard, he has served as a teaching fellow for courses on early modern philosophy, on the philosophy of science, and in the moral reasoning cluster of the core curriculum.

Joseph Mazor, Ph.D. candidate in political economy and government, is developing a liberal theory of property rights in natural resources, arguing for implementing a more egalitarian distribution of global natural resource wealth. At Harvard, he has served as a teaching fellow for introductory courses in both economics and political philosophy and as a graduate research fellow for the Project on Justice, Welfare, and Economics.

Michael Nitsch, Ph.D. candidate in government, uses the history of political thought to explore what role judgments about the moral character of politicians should play in democratic politics. Nitsch has served as a teaching fellow for courses in political philosophy, the history of political thought, and American government.

Susannah Rose is a Ph.D. candidate in the ethics concentration of Harvard’s Health Policy Program, and a predoctoral fellow at the Center for Outcomes and Policy Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. A Columbia University-trained social worker, she has practiced at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In her work at the Safra Foundation Center for Ethics, she will investigate the normative and policy implications of conflicts of interest between pharmaceutical companies and patient advocacy groups.

Jiewuh Song, Ph.D. candidate in philosophy, is interested in moral and political philosophy, philosophy of law, and international human rights law. Her dissertation focuses on the norms that must govern our interactions with non-co-citizens, particularly the role of trans-state institutions. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has been a clinical supervisor at the Law School Human Rights Program’s International Human Rights Clinic.

The Safra Foundation Center for Ethics, established in 1986, is one of the University’s interfaculty initiatives under the auspices of the Provost’s Office. It encourages teaching and research about ethical issues in the professions and public life, and helps meet the growing need for teachers and scholars who address questions of moral choice in practical ethics and in areas such as architecture, business, education, government, journalism, law, medicine, public health, and public policy.