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University Center for Human Values


Charles R. Beitz

Executive Committee

Kwame Anthony Appiah, Philosophy

Charles R. Beitz, Politics

Sandra L. Bermann, Comparative Literature

John M. Cooper, Philosophy

Elizabeth Harman, Philosophy

Melissa Lane, Politics

Stephen J. Macedo, Politics

Jan-Werner Müller, Politics

Alan W. Patten, Politics

Philip N. Pettit, Politics

Kim Lane Scheppele, also Woodrow Wilson School, Sociology

Peter Singer

Michael A. Smith, Philosophy


Kwame Anthony Appiah, also Philosophy

Christopher L. Eisgruber, also Woodrow Wilson School

Elizabeth Harman, also Philosophy

Stephen J. Macedo, also Politics

Philip N. Pettit, also Politics

Kim Lane Scheppele, also Woodrow Wilson School, Sociology

Peter Singer

Visiting Professor

Nannerl O. Keohane, Laurance S. Rockefeller Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Affairs and the University Center for Human Values

John Seery, Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching

Lecturer with Rank of Professor

Peter Brooks, also Comparative Literature


Erika Kiss

Victoria McGeer, also Philosophy

Faculty Associate

Elizabeth M. Armstrong, Woodrow Wilson School, Sociology

Leora F. Batnitzky, Religion

João G. Biehl, Anthropology

John M. Darley, Psychology, Woodrow Wilson School

Angus S. Deaton, Woodrow Wilson School, Economics

Paul J. DiMaggio, Woodrow Wilson School, Sociology

Mitchell Duneier, Sociology

Caryl Emerson, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature

Susan T. Fiske, Psychology

Daniel Garber, Philosophy

Sophie G. Gee, English

Robert P. George, Politics

Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Religion, African American Studies

Eric S. Gregory, Religion

Gilbert H. Harman, Philosophy

Hendrik A. Hartog, History

Mark Johnston, Philosophy

Thomas P. Kelly, Philosophy

Robert O. Keohane, Woodrow Wilson School

David R. Leheny, East Asian Studies

Thomas C. Leonard, Economics

Douglas S. Massey, Woodrow Wilson School, Sociology

Sarah E. McGrath, Philosophy

Alexander Nehamas, Philosophy, Comparative Literature

Guy J. Nordenson, Architecture

Jeff E. Nunokawa, English

Joyce Carol Oates, Lewis Center for the Arts, Creative Writing

Serguei Oushakine, Slavic Languages and Literatures

Devah Pager, Sociology

Deborah A. Prentice, Psychology

Albert J. Raboteau, Religion

Daniel T. Rodgers, History

Gideon A. Rosen, Philosophy

Rahal Sagar, Politics

Harold T. Shapiro, Woodrow Wilson School, Economics

Anne-Marie Slaughter, Woodrow Wilson School, Politics

Anna B. Stilz, Politics

Jeffrey L. Stout, Religion

Maurizio Viroli, Politics

Cornel R. West, African American Studies

Michael G. Wood, English, Comparative Literature

Robert J. Wuthnow, Sociology

The University Center for Human Values fosters interdisciplinary study of ethical and evaluative issues in private and public life. One of its activities within the undergraduate curriculum is to cosponsor courses with departments and programs. The center encourages students to supplement their disciplinary concentrations with a set of these courses, which address fundamental questions about the meaning and value of human life and the ethical relationships of individuals and societies.

The University Center for Human Values assists faculty members in developing new courses and revising existing courses, supplements the offerings of the freshman seminars program, and sponsors occasional lectures and colloquiums on human values to which students, along with faculty and other members of the Princeton University community, are invited. The center awards  senior thesis prizes to  seniors who have written outstanding theses in the area of ethics and human values. Departments are invited to nominate their best thesis in this area.

The University Center for Human Values is also the home for the undergraduate certificate Program in Values and Public Life, which focuses on modes of inquiry into important ethical issues in public life.

The center was created in 1990 with an endowment by Laurance S. Rockefeller '32.

The undergraduate courses listed below are cosponsored by the center.

Freshman Seminars in the Residential Colleges. Each year the University Center for Human Values sponsors several freshman seminars in the residential colleges. For a list of the current seminars, please check the freshman seminars website.

For information about courses relevant to the study of human values, visit the center's website.


CHV 202 Introduction to Moral Philosophy (see PHI 202)

CHV 212 The Psychology of Moral Behavior (see PSY 212)

CHV 214 The Other Side of Rome (see CLA 214)

CHV 261 Christian Ethics and Modern Society (see REL 261)

CHV 301 Ethics and Public Policy (see WWS 301)

CHV 306 Democratic Theory (see POL 306)

CHV 309 Political Philosophy (see PHI 309)

CHV 310 Practical Ethics (also PHI 385)   Not offered this year EM

Should we be sharing our wealth with people who will otherwise die from poverty-related causes? Is abortion wrong? Does a human embryo have a greater claim to protection than a chimpanzee? Are we justified in eating animals? Can the traditional doctrine of the sanctity of human life be defended? When should a nation go to war? And why should we act ethically, anyway? Students will be encouraged to question their own ethical beliefs on these and other issues, and in the process to explore the extent to which reason and argument can play a role in everyday ethical decision-making. Two lectures, one preceptorial. P. Singer

CHV 311 Systematic Ethics (see PHI 307)

CHV 315 Philosophy of Mind (see PHI 315)

CHV 319 Normative Ethics (see PHI 319)

CHV 330 Greek Law and Legal Practice (see CLA 330)

CHV 335 Greek Ethical Theory (see PHI 335)

CHV 345 Ethics and Economics (see ECO 385)

CHV 351 The Enlightenment in France (see FRE 351)

CHV 364 Sociology of Medicine (see SOC 364)

CHV 396 The Idea of America (also AMS 396/POL 310)   Fall EM

Explores, from various angles, periods, and points of view the idea of America as: an experiment in republicanism on a scale never before attempted; the New World; a promised land; a frontier space; a slave nation; or a dream (albeit often dashed). Examines critically the shifting images, ideologies, and mythologies surrounding the idea of America as portrayed through fiction, film, music, sports, art, poetry, and political theory. Staff