Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Hackworth Research Grant Winners, Fall 2006


Rob Lovering, SCU Department of Philosophy, $5,000 for a project called "Fetuses, Futures of Value, and the Moral Status of Abortion." Professor Lovering's project seeks to explore how the moral status of abortion is a function of both the properties the human fetus actually possesses (the capacity for consciousness) and those it potentially possesses (the experiencing and valuing of future goods of consciousness). As part of this exploration, he will also examine how psychological continuity is a valuable-making property of futures without also assuming that the psychological account of personal identity -- the view that humans are essentially psychological beings -- is correct.

David Pinault, SCU Department of Religious Studies, $2,500 for a project called "Muslim Southeast Asian Contributions to a Global Ethic of Interfaith Cooperation on Environmental Issues" (the Ethics Center and the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education at SCU are each contributing $2,500 to Dr. Pinault's project). Professor Pinault's work builds on extensive research he has already done on Muslims in South and Southeast Asia. In particular, he will be traveling to East Java, Indonesian Borneo, and Malaysia to speak with Muslim and non-Muslim communities which are in the process of establishing a working environmental ethic to guide cooperation on environmental issues.

Kathleen Ridolfi, SCU School of Law, $5,000 for a project called "Prosecutorial Unethical Conduct and Wrongful Conviction." Professor Ridolfi's study will examine prosecutorial error in California and assess whether courts are sending a clear message that misconduct by prosecutors is unacceptable. She will also assess the existing rules of ethics and professional conduct governing prosecutorial conduct. The findings of her work will be shared with the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, a state-sponsored organization examining the causes of wrongful conviction and making proposals to ensure the fair administration of criminal justice.

Meir Statman, SCU Department of Finance, $5,000 for a project called "Ethical Companies: Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Performance." Professor Statman will investigate the issue of who is right: Those who argue that companies invest too much in making their companies socially responsible at the expense of shareholders? Or those who argue that companies invest too little in social responsibility and an increased investment in environmentally friendly technology or diversity in the boardroom would enhance profitability and benefit shareholders, beyond its contribution to society? He will seek to answer the question through analysis of a large database of social responsibility ratings of companies and measures of their profitability and value in financial markets.

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