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Past PPEL Speakers


Fall 2019

Who Needs the International Criminal Court? Answers from Kenya, the African Continent, and the Global Community
Dr. Susan F. Hirsch
Monday, November 11, 2019, 4:30pm
Whitehurst Living Room

Co-sponsored with Sociology and Anthropology


Spring 2019

A Research Strategy to Analyze the Long-Term Impact of the Allocation of Property Rights to Land: South America versus North America
Dr. Gary Libecap
Mon., Jan. 28, 2019, 4:30pm
Brown-Alley Room

Co-Sponsored with Economics and History

Global Systemic Risk
Dr. Miguel Centeno
Thurs., Apr. 18, 5:30pm
Jepson Hall 103

Co-sponsored with Sociology and Anthropology

Rawls’s Philosophical Socialism
Dr. Bill Edmundson
Tues., Apr. 23, 4:30pm
Richmond Hall 108



Fall 2017

Bioethics, Race, and Healthcare
Dr. Joan R. Harrell, Dr. Wylin Dassie Wilson, and Dr. Julian M. Hayter
Thurs., Sept. 14, 2017, 6:00-7:30pm
Alice Haynes Room

Co-sponsored with Healthcare Studies, Biology, History, Political Science, Leadership Studies, Center for Civic Engagement, Office of the Chaplaincy, and Black Student Alliance

Economics in Policy Debates
Dr. Catherine Eckel
Thurs., Sept. 21, 2017, 4:45-5:45pm
Jepson 118

Co-sponsored with Robins School of Business

Conference on the International Rule of Law
Dr. Frank Lovett, Dr. Catherine Lu, Dr. Richard Collins, and Dr. Colleen Murphy
Fri., Oct. 20, 2017, 9:15am-4:45pm
Westhampton Center Living Room

Co-sponsored with Philosophy and the School of Arts & Sciences

PPEL Dinner and Conversation
“Speaking of Virtue: Engaging with Fundamental Values in a Liberal Polis”
Presentation by 2017 PPEL-Koch Summer Research Fellowship recipient, Kaelyn Heinicke
Thurs., Nov. 9, 6:00-7:30pm
Richmond Room

Spring 2018

"Casuistry: A Practitioner's Case-Based Approach to Making Moral Judgments"
Dr. Martin Calkins, University of Massachusetts Boston
Thurs., Feb. 22, 4:30pm
Whitehurst Living Room

"Ethics and the Wars of the Future"
Dr. Edward Barrett, Research Director at the U.S. Naval Academy’s Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership
Tues., Feb. 27, 4:00pm
Brown Alley Room


October 6
Presented by Dr. Laura Taylor, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy
North Carolina State University 
“Benefit-Cost Analysis of Environmental Regulations: The Critical Role and Controversy of Valuing Lives Saved”

October 18
Presented by Dr. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics
Duke University
“Moral Artificial Intelligence” 

November 3
Presented by Dr. Avram Hiller, Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department
Portland State University 
“Modeling Non-Human Value in Climate Policymaking”
November 7
Presented by Ben Blevins and Guadalupe Ramirez, Co-Founders, Highland Support Project
“A Tale of Two Development Models: Transforming Indigenous Communities”


September 15
Presented by Dr. Lucie Schmidt, Professor of Economics and Chair of WGSS 
Williams College
"The Balancing Act: Work, Family, and What Economics Can Tell Us about Women's Choices"

September 22
Presented by Ben Blevins, Founder and Director of the Highland Support Project
"Markets and Human Development: Transforming the Agency of Indigenous Communities in Guatemala"

September 24
Presented by Dr. David Danks, Professor of Philosophy & Psychology and Head, Department of Philosophy
Carnegie Mellon University
"Ethical Cyberconflicts with Actual People" 

October 7
Presented by Dennis Edney, winner of the Canadian Lawyers Pro Bono Award
School of Law, Moot Courtroom
"The Rule of Law in an Age of Terror"

November 3
Presented by Dr. Fabrice Jotterand, Associate Professor of Health Care Ethics
Regis University
"Moral Enhancement"

February 5
Presented by Frank Garcia, Professor of Law
Boston College Law School
"Justice Through Consent? Trade, Investment, and International Economic Law"

February 17
Presented by Ken Roberts, Professor of Political Science
Cornell University
"Democratic Achievements and Shortcomings in Latin America: A Post-Left Turn Assessment​"

April 15
Presented by Aaron James, author of Fairness in Practice: A Social Contract for a Global Economy


October 21
Presented by Major General Michael Lenhert (USMC)
"Guantanamo: When Command and the Constitution Collide"

October 24
Presented by Mathias Risse, Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy
Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
"Why Write Books on Global Justice?"

February 9
Presented by Sam Adams, Associate Professor of the Old Testament
Union Presbyterian Seminary
"Economic and Social Life in Ancient Judea"

February 25
Presented by Steve Nash, Visiting Senior Research Scholar
and David Kitchen, Associate Dean, School of Professional and Continuing Studies
University of Richmond
"What Does Climate Change Mean for You?"

March 25
Presented by Jonathan Anomaly, Research Assistant Professor of Philosophy and PPE
UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University
"Collective Action and Individual Choice"
April 9
Presented by Joshua Dressler, Distinguished University Professor and Frank R. Strong Chair in Law
Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
"Nonviolent Homosexual Advances and Provocation Law"

April 21
Presented by R. A. Duff, Russell M. and Elizabeth M. Bennett Chair in Excellence
University of Minnesota Law School
"A Democratic Criminal Law: Citizens, Offenders, and Ex-Offenders"



September 4
Presented by David Lorenzo, Associate Professor
National Chengchi University
“Conceptions of Chinese Democracy: Taiwan’s Experience, China’s Future”

September 16
Presented by Bas van der Vossen, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
The University of North Carolina, Greensboro
“Mental Pollution: Why Philosophers Should Stay Out of Politics”

October 3
Presented by Alan Wertheimer, Professor Emeritus of Political Science
University of Vermont
“Giving Up on Voluntariness”

October 9
Presented by Elizabeth Harman, Department of Philosophy
Princeton University
"The Ethics of Procreation"

October 30
“PPEL Dinner Conversation on the Ethics of Economics of Healthcare”

November 13
“Distant Death: A Debate on Drones”

November 20
Presented by Michael Clemens, Senior Fellow
Center for Global Development
“The Migration of Health Workers Across Borders”

February 28-March 1
“PPEL Conference on Normative Theory & International Law”

April 11
“Philosophy of Criminal Law Conference”


September 13
Claudio López-Guerra, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Studies
Center for Research and Teaching in Economics, Mexico City
“The Case for an Aristocratic Electorate”

October 3
James Stacey Taylor, Associate Professor of Philosophy
The College of New Jersey
“Election for Sale! Why We Should Legalize a Market in Political Votes” 

October 11
Jason Brennan, Assistant Professor of Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy
Georgetown University
“Why Most Americans Shouldn't Vote” 

October 30
PPEL Dinner Conversation on Markets and Morals: “The Ethics and Economics of Voting”

March 28
Mark D. White, Professor of Political Science, Economics, and Philosophy
College of Staten Island, The City University of New York, 4:30 p.m.
“Banning Super-Sized Sodas? A Libertarian Inquiry into Paternalism in Economic Choice”

April 4
Terrance C. McConnell, Professor of Philosophy
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
“Gratitude, Servility, and Rights”


September 7
Jonathan Quong, Lecturer in political philosophy, Department of Politics
University of Manchester
"What is the Point of Public Reason?"

October 14 - 15
Book Symposium: Morality and Markets
"Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale"

October 19
"A Conversation on Morals & Markets"
Based on Debra Satz's book: Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale

January 27–28
"PPEL Kick-Off Conference"

March 27
“The Ethics of Assassination”


October 7
James Stoner, Professor, Department of Political Science
Louisiana State University
"Tradition and Modernity: The Original Constitution?"

November 10
Darrel Moellendorf, Professor of Philosophy Director, Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs
San Diego State University, Claremont Graduate School
"A Right to Sustainable Development"

November 30
Deirdre McCloskey, Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication
University of Illinois at Chicago,
"Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce"

March 18
Lawrie Balfour, Associate Professor of Politics
University of Virginia
Lunch & Lecture on "Reparations: A Feminist Idea"


January 14
Gerald Gaus, James E. Rogers Professor of Philosophy
University of Arizona
“The Property Equilibrium in a Liberal Social Order (or How to Correct Our Moral Vision)”

February 4
John Roemer, Elizabeth S. and A. Varick Stout Professor of Political Science & Economics
Yale University
“Intergenerational and International Equity in a Warming Planet”
Watch this lecture

February 18
Geoffrey Brennan, Distinguished Research Professor
Duke University/UNC-Chapel Hill
“Climate Change: A Rational Choice Politics View”
Watch this lecture