The Bowen H. "Buzz" McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society is committed to bring ethical reflection to bear on important social problems through research, teaching, and engagement. To this end, we are developing a small number of initiatives that relate to important public problems; draw on the established strengths of the Stanford faculty; are interdisciplinary in nature; and have important ethical dimensions. Current projects include the ethics of wealth and justice and education.
A guiding idea of the Center is that the major problems that face our troubled globe -- extreme poverty, environmental sustainability, and international peace and security -- are not only technological in nature, but also moral. The issues posed by climate change, for example, are not only economic. They include questions of what we owe to future generations, who should bear the costs of mitigation and adaptation, and what level of protection from the negative effects of climate change justice requires. We believe that normative thought -- in particular, ideas drawn from moral and political philosophy -- has a contribution to make in addressing and solving social problems.
The Center was generously endowed by the Bowen H. McCoy Family in 2008. Along with the Program in Ethics in Society, the undergraduate honors program housed within it, the Center runs a full range of activities, including the following:
You can read about these and our other programs on this website. Through these, and other activities we aim to nurture and sustain a campus ethos of ethical inquiry, provide a focus for considering a range of moral judgments on important social questions, and underscore the need to make such judgments. We hope to meet you at some of our events.
Professor Debra Satz