As a faculty member in the Rock Ethics Institute, Dr. Cameron leads the research initiative on Moral Agency and Moral Development. This initiative is focused on fostering research collaborations (such as articles and grant applications) about moral experience, deliberation, judgment, and action, and forms of education that support the development of moral agency.
Moral Agency Workshop
The Moral Agency Workshop is an interdisciplinary working group that brings together faculty and graduate students from a diverse range of disciplines to study ethics and morality. In particular, we focus on why and how do people behave in moral and ethical ways? We discuss psychological foundations for the development and sustenance of moral agency, and philosophical conditions for moral agency and responsibility. Currently, our members include faculty and students from psychology, philosophy, political science, sociology, communication and media studies, marketing, bioethics, and anthropology. If you have an interest in empirically and philosophically informed approaches to these questions, we invite you to join! The workshop will meet every month over coffee at the Rock Ethics Institute, with meeting times and topics announced below. Our meetings involve both assigned readings and members workshopping in-progress ideas that would be usefully and constructively informed by interdisciplinary feedback. This group is designed to encourage active interdisciplinary discussion, and foster the development of grant applications and research projects that transcend traditional boundaries. If you are interested in being part of the group, contact Dr. Cameron for more information.
Thursday, January 24: Mina Cikara (Harvard University), “Their Pain, Our Pleasure”
Thursday, February 21: Michael Poulin (SUNY Buffalo), “Must We Feel Bad to Do Good?”
Thursday, February 28: Kurt Gray (UNC Chapel Hill), “Explaining Moral Judgment”
Moral Psychology Research Group (MPRG) Conference, Fall 2017
The Moral Psychology Research Group (MPRG; http://www.moralpsychology.net) is an interdisciplinary collective of psychologists, neuroscientists, and philosophers from around the world who meet twice a year to discuss and generate research projects related to moral decision-making, ethics, and cognitive science. This October, the Rock Ethics Institute will be hosting the MPRG conference. In addition to MPRG members, we have also invited a number of psychologists and philosophers from nearby universities.
The conference will begin on Thursday, October 5, with a public lecture by philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong on the possibilities of building moral and ethical norms into artificial intelligence (3:30-5:00pm in Foster Auditorium, if you will attend in person please register for free here), followed by responses by Dr. Cameron and Dr. Alan Wagner (Engineering). On Friday, October 6, and Saturday, October 7, the MPRG conference will continue at the Penn Stater Conference Center with a series of talks and workshops by faculty from Penn State, as well as invited speakers from around the country. If you are interested in attending the conference, please contact Dr. Cameron for more information.
To view the archived video stream of the talk, click here:
For the full conference program, click here:
As part of the MPRG conference, we conducted digital interviews with visiting scholars:
On the Relationship Between Science and Ethics
With Daniel Kelly, Stephen Stich, and Natalia Washington
On the Moral Brain
With Joshua Greene, Anthony Jack, and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong,
On Interdisciplinary Approaches to Morality
With Derek Leben, Christopher Olivola, and Joshua Rottman
In February 2017, we hosted a pair of invited lectures from John Doris (Washington University in St. Louis) and Laura Niemi (Harvard University). Click the links below for more details:
John M. Doris: “Making Good: Can We Realize Our Moral Aspirations?” (Thursday February 23, 3:30-5:00 in Foster Auditorium)
Laura Niemi: “Morality in Language” (Friday February 24, 1:15-2:30 in 127 Moore Building)
Dr. Cameron interviewed Dr. Doris and Dr. Niemi about the study of moral psychology: how and why do people act ethically and make moral judgments? Dr. Doris studies how empirical findings in psychology inform normative theories of ethics, and Dr. Niemi studies how social factors shape ascription of moral agency and moral rights. How can philosophers and psychologists work together to study these questions? What is the relationship between moral psychology and other areas of inquiry, and what are some of the exciting new directions in moral psychology?