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Jeffrey Dunn



My research and teaching focuses mainly on issues in epistemology (the study of knowledge), logic, and the philosophy of science. Many of the issues that arise in these fields have an ethical component. For instance, one important issue for philosophers of science is the ethical constraints on inquiry. This issue includes familiar topics such as the ethical design of experiments with human subjects, but also less familiar topics such as whether knowledge is the sole goal of science or whether science should have other goals related to the flourishing of individuals in society. 

Epistemology has interesting connections to ethics, too. In my research I have recently become interested in some of the ways in which the two fields are similar. Both epistemology and ethics are normative areas of study: ethical theories attempt to tell us what we ought to do, while epistemological theories attempt to tell us what we ought to believe. I'm interested in how this similarity can be exploited to allow for progress to be made in both fields.

In my time at DePauw I have also participated in several Prindle conferences. I participated in the conference Ethics after Darwin, and I presented a paper at the conference Ethical Inquiry Through Video Game Play and Design. That paper, which is now published, considers whether actions taken within multi-player online video games are subject to moral evaluation.