A Center for Ethics
Photo: Douglas Benedict
With critical reflection on right and wrong as necessary today as it’s ever been, Lehigh has created a new Center for Ethics that will support faculty and student research, facilitate critical analyses of issues and enhance curricular opportunities for students.
Under the direction of Robin S. Dillon, the W. W. Selfridge Professor of Philosophy, the new center also will bring ethics leaders from academia, business, government and civic organizations to campus through the Peter S. Hagerman ’61 Lecture in Ethics series and Ethics Leaders in Residence program. Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, was the inaugural lecturer.
The center is housed in the College of Arts and Sciences but serves all of Lehigh and the surrounding community.
“What I’m really hoping is that, with the center, there are many more students who come to understand that there’s no part of their lives that doesn’t have ethical dimensions and that there are ways to think about these—ways that are better and ways that are worse,” Dillon says. “And there are answers to questions, some of which are better, some of which are worse. And that the better ways of thinking about them give you better answers than the worst ways of thinking about them.”
The point of teaching ethics is to help students “learn how to think,” Dillon says. “Not what to think, but how to think.”
The center receives financial support from the Class of 1961 Endowed Fund for the Teaching of Ethical Decision-Making and the dean’s office.
In an email to the campus community earlier this year, Donald E. Hall, then dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said the center comes at an important time. In a morally complex world, he said, the College recognizes that education, research and community involvement must work to increase awareness of life’s ethical dimensions and foster dialogue.