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University Center for Human Values


Charles R. Beitz

Acting Director

Alan W. Patten (fall/spring)

Executive Committee

Kwame Anthony Appiah, also Philosophy

Charles R. Beitz, Politics

Sandra L. Bermann, Comparative Literature

John M. Cooper, Philosophy

Marc Fleurbaey, also Woodrow Wilson School

Eric S. Gregory, Religion

Elizabeth Harman, also Philosophy

Melissa S. Lane, Politics

Stephen J. Macedo, also Politics

Jan-Werner Müller, Politics

Alan W. Patten, Politics

Philip N. Pettit, also 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

Marc Fleurbaey, 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

Peter P. Brooks, Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching


Erika Kiss

Victoria McGeer, also Philosophy

Faculty Associate

Elizabeth M. Armstrong, Woodrow Wilson School, Sociology 

Leora F. Batnitzky, Religion 

João G. Biehl, Anthropology 

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, Woodrow Wilson School

Daniel Garber, Philosophy 

Sophie G. Gee, English 

Robert P. George, Politics 

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

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, Council of the Humanities

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, Anthropology 

Devah Pager, Sociology, Woodrow Wilson School

Deborah A. Prentice, Psychology, Woodrow Wilson School

Albert J. Raboteau, Religion 

Daniel T. Rodgers, History 

Gideon A. Rosen, Philosophy 

Rahul 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 

Michael G. Wood, English, Comparative Literature 

Robert J. Wuthnow, Sociology 

Sits with Committee

Victoria McGeer, University Center for Human Values

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, some of which are sponsored or cosponsored by the center, examine issues involving human values from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

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 370)

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 319 Normative Ethics (see PHI 319)

CHV 321 Ethical and Scientific Issues in Environmental Policy (also ENV 321/WWS 371)   Fall EM

This course will discuss policy issues relating to the environment, using several case studies to provide a deeper understanding of the science and values involved. P. Singer, D. Wilcove

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 380 Explaining Values (see PHI 380)

CHV 470 Comparative Constitutional Law (see WWS 313)