Yale Bulletin and Calendar

November 17, 2000Volume 29, Number 11

Shelly Kagan

Philosopher Shelly Kagan is
reappointed Luce Professor

Shelly Kagan, reappointed as the Henry R. Luce Professor of Social Thought and Ethics for an additional term, is a leading scholar of contemporary moral philosophy.

His three-year reappointment is effective through June 30, 2003. The endowed post is supported with a grant from the Henry R. Luce Foundation.

Kagan is known for pathbreaking work in developing new approaches to understanding some of the most basic issues in ethical theory. In his book "The Limits of Morality," he defends the doctrine of classical utilitarianism -- that people are morally obliged, without limit, to do as much good as they can. In his most recent book, "Normative Ethics," he examines how to judge the rightness or wrongness of actions, exploring such factors as consequences, harm and consent. The book was selected by Choice as an "Outstanding Academic Book" for 1998. This work and Kagan's other writings have stimulated national discussion and have been the subject of symposia and major philosophical journals.

Kagan received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University. He served on the University of Illinois at Chicago faculty for nine years before joining the Yale faculty as the Henry R. Luce Professor of Social Thought and Ethicsi n 1995. Kagan was University Scholar at the University of Illinois 1990-93 and was senior fellow of the university's Institute for the Humanities 1987-88. He also taught at the University of Pittsburgh.

As Luce Scholar, Kagan holds a joint appointment in the philosophy department and in ethics, politics and economics.


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