Kenan Graduate Fellows in Ethics present research

For the January 2019 Monday Seminar meetings, two panels of Kenan Graduate Fellows in Ethics gave research presentations related to the normative questions they study.

On January 11, the panel focused on the ethics of interactions between human and non-human (environment and animals) and the role of cognition. Fifth-year Bryce Gessell (Philosophy) discussed the ethics of how we understand mental illness — specifically Alzheimer’s — from both psychiatric and neurological perspectives, with a focus on how diagnostic categories drive medical decision-making and the allocation of research funding. Wen Zhou, third-year in Evolutionary Anthropology, shared preliminary findings from her survey research exploring how human perceptions of different dog breeds, including their own pets, relate to their social dominance attitudes and empathy. Third-year Angela Bischof (Philosophy) offered initial reflections on the relationship between rationality and morality, to begin addressing whether non-human animals are ever capable of acting morally and what moral consideration humans owe them.

On January 28, the panel examined how people navigate social and political institutions through formal and informal barriers. Hannah Borenstein, third-year in Cultural Anthropology, spoke about competing incentives and pressures faced by competitive runners in East Africa. Fourth-year Zimife Umeh (Sociology) discussed how incarceration disproportionately affects mothers after release, especially how they navigate roles as caregivers and their relationships with their children, while facing institutional constraints on their ability to gain employment and find housing. Emily Dubie (Graduate Program in Religion) shared from interviews with Christian social workers, exploring how they draw upon religious beliefs and practices as they provide care for their clients.

For each panel, the panelists gave brief “TEDx”-style talks, followed by wide-ranging discussion with each other and the interdisciplinary audience of faculty and other graduate fellows. 

More information about the Kenan Graduate Fellowship.

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