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Ethics Colloquium Series

The annual Ethics Colloquium Series brings together faculty from across schools and disciplines at Fordham to discuss emerging and recent scholarship on ethics and ethics-related topics, and to develop ideas for cross-disciplinary team-taught courses. All Fordham faculty and graduate students are warmly invited to attend. Faculty interested in leading a seminar discussion are encouraged to contact Dr. Adam Fried, Assistant Director of the Center for Ethics Education.


Perspectives on Moral Worth: What We Owe to Others and Why

A Discussion of Personhood and Moral Status among Individuals with Severe Brain Trauma and Other Cognitive Impairments. Wednesday, April 15, 12:30 – 1:45 p.m., Keating 124, Rose Hill Campus

Joseph Vukov (philosophy) and Charlie Camosy (theology) will discuss the question of what we owe to others, with special reference to issues surrounding the personhood and moral status and policy implications of individuals with severe brain trauma or other cognitive impairments.


TEDMED Live 2014 Screening: We Just Don't Know
Monday, September 15, 2014, 7 p.m., Rose Hill Campus (Flom Auditorium, Walsh Library)

This simulcast video features short talks about the transformations in medicine that occur when we realize the limits of our professional knowledge.

Film and Discussion: A Documentary About the Fight to Find a Cure for AIDS
Wednesday, October 22, 6:30 p.m., Rose Hill Campus (Campbell Multipurpose Room)

A screening of the film by David Franc: How to Survive a Plague: Their Defiance Changed the World.


Humans in Nature: The World As We Find It and the World As We Create It
Wednesday, February 12, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m., Rose Hill Campus (O'Hare Special Collections Room, Walsh Library)

  • Can we identify “natural” states of affairs at all, especially in light of the degree to which humans have been remaking nature?
  • Can concern about the human relationship to nature make any moral sense?
  • And could that concern about the human relationship to nature be legitimately taken up into public policy and political discourse?

Drawing on his book Humans in Nature: The World As We Find It and the World As We Create It, Gregory Kaebnick, editor of the Hastings Center Report and a research scholar at The Hastings Center, will give a qualified defense of the preservationist instinct toward nature.

Cultivating Moral Persons: Buddhist Ethics in Conversation
Wednesday, November 13th, 12 - 1:30 p.m., Rose Hill Campus (O'Hare Special Collections Room, Walsh Library)

How do Buddhist communities aspire to create compassionate people? In this short lecture, Joshua Schapiro, postdoctoral fellow in theology at Fordham University, will dispel the pessimistic mischaracterization of Buddhist ethics and instead suggest the usefulness of pain in cultivating moral persons. Christopher Gowans, Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Fordham, will offer a brief response. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Ethics Education and the Department of Theology.

Bringing LGBT Content into the Fordham Classroom
Wednesday, October 2, 12 - 1:30 p.m., Rose Hill Campus (Keating 124)

All Fordham faculty and teaching fellows are invited to an open discussion on creating LGBT inclusive classroom experiences. This lunch discussion will include brief presentations by Fordham faculty and an interdisciplinary dialogue on:

  • University mission and the dignity of all students
  • Discipline-relevant LGBT curricula and materials
  • Affirming and safe classroom climate for all students
  • Classroom conversations about sexual and gender diversity

Additional information is available.


Hope and Despair: Responding to the Global HIV and AIDS Epidemic
Friday, April 5, 12 p.m. O'Hare Special Collections Room, Walsh Library

Our spring Ethics Colloquium Series featured the work of noted HIV researcher Dr. Timothy Flanigan (Brown University School of Medicine). In this lecture. Dr. Flanigan discusses nature and effectiveness of HIV prevention strategies in a global context. He argues that the traditional risk-centered approach of HIV prevention may have certain limitations and, instead, advocates for a person-centered approach to prevention strategies.

The American Gun Debate: Trust, Violence, and the Eclipse of Reason
Wednesday, November 7, 1:30 p.m. Dealy Hall - Room 324

Our second Ethics Colloquium Series of the semester featured Dr. Saul Cornell, one of the nation's leading authorities on early American constitutional thought and author of The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control (Oxford University Press, 2006) and Whose Right to Bear Arms Did the Second Amendment Protect? (St. Martin's Press, 2000).

The Decision to Trust
Wednesday, October 17, 2 p.m. Dealy Hall - Room 324

Our first Ethics Colloquium Series of the semester was led by Professor Robert Hurley (GBA), who discussed his new book The Decision to Trust: How Leaders Create High-Trust Organizations. A faculty response was delivered by Center associate director Barbara Hilkert Andolsen (Theology).


Valuing Health
Wednesday, November 16th

Gerard Vong (Philosophy) presented for the second Ethics Colloquium Series, followed by a response by Robert Brent (Economics). The lecture was well attended and addressed the following dilemma: if we can only administer one medical drug that saves a small number of peoples' lives or another that cures the minor ailments of a vast number of people, which ought we to administer? On the basis of such cases where the individual benefits between different options are qualitatively disparate, Professor Vong challenged widely used measurements of health and disease burden. He argued that while useful, such measurements obscure ethically important features of the distribution of healthcare and development benefits.

What do We Owe our Veterans?
October 12, 2011: 12 - 1:30 p.m.

Nicholas Tampio (Political Science) and Adam Fried (Center for Ethics Education) presented on clinical and philosophical perspectives regarding our moral obligations towards injured veterans, long term consequences of war-related trauma, and post-war human and economic cost thinking towards future wars.


Moral Responsibility for Actions and Attitudes
February 16, 2011: 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Jada Strabbing (philosophy) presented on the topic "Moral Responsibility for Actions and Attitudes: Connections to Psychological Disorders and Criminal Justice." Barry Rosenfeld (psychology) then provided a response to Dr. Stabbing's talk, which was followed by a general faculty and graduate student discussion on the role of moral responsibility as applied to psychological disorders within the criminal justice system. With over 50 people in attendance from the disciplines of philosophy, psychology, theology, history, and ethics, the presentation and conversation were interesting and provocative!

"Literary, Interreligious and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Evil and Suffering.”

The Curran Center for American Catholic Studies (CACS) and the Center for Ethics Education co-sponsored an exciting two-part fall seminar series entitled

"Literary, Interreligious and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Evil and Suffering.” The fall series included two events:

Lunch and Interdisciplinary Roundtable Discussion
September 22, 2010: 12 - 2 p.m.

Discussion of the award-winning novel, The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell, focusing on the seminar themes of evil and suffering. (University Commons, Duane Library). Over thirty faculty participated in this lively discussion, which focused on several of the issues raised throughout the book related to otherness, suffering, pain, and traumatic challenges to the faith and lives of the central characters.

Panel presentation and general discussion: "When the Sparrow Falls: Jewish, Christian, and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Evil and Suffering” (reception to follow; O'Hare Special Collections Room, Walsh Library).
November 18, 2010: 4 - 5:30 p.m.

Speakers included Fr. Thomas Regan, SJ, Provincial of the New England Province of the Society of Jesus 2003-2009, Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard, Director of Organizational Development at The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and Dr. Lisa Cataldo, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Counseling at the Fordham University Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education.

The Center for Ethics Education hosted its first Faculty Ethics Seminar of the spring 2010 semester on February 17th. Jason Morris (assistant professor of biology in the department of natural sciences) presented his ongoing work concerning the moral status of the embryo by providing an overview of research findings from biology and medicine about embryology and how some ethicists are using (and perhaps misusing) biological data to further arguments about when exactly life begins. Charles Camosy (assistant professor of theology) provided a response. The group, which represented a diverse group of disciplines, including philosophy, theology, biology, psychology, communications, business, and political science, discussed various theories of substance, personhood, and human dignity.

"Character Matters: Virtue Ethics in Business Ethics and across the Disciplines"
November 11, 2009

Professor Miguel Alzola (Fordham Schools of Business) provided a brief overview of his work in this area. A general faculty discussion about virtue ethics, as related to professional contexts and in general, followed. Discussion centered on virtue ethics as a concept (definitions, assumptions, relationship to character and personality), and how virtue ethics are applied across disciplines, especially with respect to applied ethics. A diverse group of faculty representing the Fordham University Schools of Business, philosophy, theology, and psychology attended.

Ethics Faculty Seminar Series Luncheon
September 16, 2009

Hosted by the Center for Ethics Education, this luncheon gathered faculty from across schools and disciplines at Fordham to discuss emerging and recent Fordham research on ethics and ethics-related topics, exchange information and ideas about ethics-focused scholarship, and to discuss the Center's new Master's degree program in Ethics and Society. At this luncheon, faculty provided topic ideas and suggestions for upcoming seminars, which will include: virtue ethics across the disciplines, work and ethics, and research ethics.