Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Philosophy

The Specialization in Ethics and Development provides graduate students and faculty with the opportunity to address collaboratively and in a philosophically sophisticated manner the difficult ethical issues that arise in the course of social, economic, political, and cultural development within an increasingly inter-connected global context. These issues include, but are not limited to, the introduction of transgenic crops, climate change, foreign aid, economic liberalization, the representativeness of international political organizations, gender equity, the effectiveness of war crimes tribunals and international courts, and the role of traditional medicine in addressing health care needs. They are related to the more general moral problems of autonomy, community, identity, and justice; and they are issues that are felt acutely within the economically poorer regions of the world, but are often equally salient in the economically richer regions.

These issues in development are part of a complex set of questions about the ethics of development that connect rich and poor countries. In whose interests has development occurred? Who has participated in development projects and initiatives? What exactly ought to be the goals of development? When we speak of sustainable development, what social and cultural goods as well as material resources ought to be sustained that currently exist now and which ones ought to be transformed or replaced?

Interested students should contact Program Director Dr. Fred Gifford to discuss course requirements and the other components of the program.