Geoff Sayre-McCord is the Morehead-Cain Alumni Distinguished Professor, Director of the UNC Philosophy, Politics & Economics Program, and the Interim Director of the Parr Center for Ethics. He has published extensively on moral theory, epistemology, and modern philosophy, and has edited Essays on Moral Realism and Hume: Moral Philosophy (See list of publications). Recently, his research has focused on the nature of normative concepts, on evolution and morality, and on Adam Smith’s theory of moral sentiments. His “A Moral Argument Against Moral Dilemmas,” “Rational Agency and the Nature of Normative Concepts,” “Skepticism About Moral Knowledge,” “Desires… and Beliefs… Of One’s Own,” (with Michael Smith), “Hume and Smith on Sympathy, Approbation, and Moral Judgment,” “Sentiments and Spectators: Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Judgment” and “Hume on the Artificial Virtues” are available in draft.
Rob Willison (PhD 2017, University of Pennsylvania) is Research Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Associate Director of the Parr Center for Ethics. He joined the department in 2017. He is working on the ethics of meaning—a study of the ways that meaning and interpretation, understood as practices, can help and hinder us in our efforts to live well together. He has research interests in social and political philosophy, philosophy of education, philosophy of social science, philosophy of art, and the history of American Pragmatism.
207D Caldwell Hall
Katie studied Media & Culture at The New School in New York, NY. She began her career producing video and social content for MTV News, including the 2007 Presidential Dialogue special with Barack Obama, for which she received an Associate Producer credit. Katie is passionate about producing programming that highlights the unique expertise and perspectives found on our campus.
Steve received his PhD from the University of Nebraska in 2011; prior to joining UNC, he was a lecturer at the University of Nebraska, and the Assistant Director of Nebraska’s Robert J. Kutak Center for the Teaching and Study of Applied Ethics. Steve’s primary research focus is in moral psychology, exploring the viability of anti-Humean views of human motivation that posit besires—beliefs and perceptual states that are capable of being intrinsically motivating. Steve is also interested in issues in political philosophy and the philosophy of law regarding social perceptions of criminality and various official and unofficial penalties (such as the loss of voting rights) that frequently accompany criminal convictions.
Director, National High School Ethics Bowl
207F Caldwell Hall
Dominique received her PhD in political theory from Duke University in 2015. Her dissertation, “Civic Friendship and Democracy: Past and Present Perspectives” focused on several accounts of the meaning and importance of things like care and compassion in healthy and diverse democratic communities. She has worked for Transplanting Traditions Community Farm, the Kenan Institute for Ethics, and The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University.
Assistant to the Director
207 Caldwell Hall
Sally received her BA in Philosophy with a minor in Cognitive Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined the department shortly after her graduation in 2017. Her interests include practical ethics, metaphysics, and the bridge between psychology and philosophy of mind.
Graduate Research Assistant
107B Caldwell Hall
Ian is a fourth-year graduate student with research interests in metaethics, normative ethics, and moral psychology. He also has side interests in the history of ethics and political philosophy. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Louisiana State University and an MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics.