I’ll be doing a Reddit Philosophy AMA (Ask me Anything) this Wednesday, Feb 15, 2017, starting at 11am (EST). Do come and join the conversation!

Here is an excerpt of my bio:

I recently participated in a roundtable discussion with LiveScience about HBO’s new TV show, Westworld and the ethics of artificial intelligence. You can watch the video here.

I’ll be giving an inaugural lecture as part of taking up the Arthur Zitrin Chair of Bioethics at NYU on Friday, Nov 4, 2016 from 4-6pm. I would be delighted and honored if you were able to come to the lecture and the food/drinks reception afterwards. Here are some details:

Title: ‘Designing Humans: A Human Rights Approach’
Location: Greenberg Lounge, 40 Washington Square South, NYU
Date: November 4, 2016
Time: 4-6pm

Dean Cheryl Healton of the College of Global Public Health at NYU will provide an introductory address followed by remarks from Professors Bill Ruddick, Dan Wikler, Frances Kamm, Dale Jamieson, and David Chalmers.

Aeon has just published my piece on helping the needy of children of this world, entitled “Why every child in need deserves an urgent response,” which you can read in full here.

Here is an excerpt:

‘What would you do if you saw a six-year-old alone in a public place?’ So begins a short video from UNICEF, which has received more than 2 million views on YouTube. In the video, Anano, a six-year-old child actor, is dressed in different ways and placed in different scenarios. When Anano is well-dressed, we see people actively trying to help her. But when Anano’s appearance is altered to make her look homeless, we see people shunning her and sometimes even telling her to go away.

The full program for “The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence” Conference at NYU, hosted by The NYU Center for Bioethics and the NYU Center for Mind, Brain and Consciousness is now available (see below).

The conference is taking place this Friday and Saturday October 14-15 at the NYU Kimmel Center and the Cantor Film Center.

Full details including abstracts can be found here.

Here’s the book jacket for Moral Brains: The Neuroscience of Morality. I am very grateful to Adina Roskies, Joshua Knobe, and Martha J. Farah for their very kind blurbs! The book should be out in September and you can pre-order a copy at Amazon, Oxford University Press, and other regular outlets.

Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities: Philosophy’s Practical Turn

The Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities (YJLH) is seeking full submissions for a symposium section of the Spring 2017 issue. The journal seeks submissions that employ methods of philosophy (broadly construed) to investigate practical legal issues. The goal is to publish articles representative of an array of philosophical traditions and contemporary issues. The special section aims to exemplify how philosophical approaches and insights provide distinctive and significant contributions to practical legal debates.

Example topics include:

What Matters to Philosophers?
By S. Matthew Liao

Professor Valerie Tiberius, Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota, would like to invite you to participate in a survey on what matters to philosophers:


For a rationale for the survey, please see the message below from Professor Tiberius:

“Dear Colleague,

As chair of a philosophy department at a large state institution (University of Minnesota), I’ve frequently been called upon to defend philosophy and to justify its place in higher education. This has made me reflect on what really is worth preserving, celebrating, or (possibly) changing about our field. To this end I want to solicit the views of my philosophy colleagues in a more systematic way than just asking my Facebook friends, which is what drew me to the project of creating a survey.

Date: October 14-15, 2016
Location: NYU

The NYU Center for Bioethics and the NYU Center for Mind, Brain and Consciousness will host a conference on “The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence” this October at NYU.

Recent progress in artificial intelligence (AI) makes questions about the ethics of AI more pressing than ever. Existing AI systems already raise numerous ethical issues: for example, machine classification systems raise questions about privacy and bias. AI systems in the near-term future raise many more issues: for example, autonomous vehicles and autonomous weapons raise questions about safety and moral responsibility. AI systems in the long-term future raise more issues in turn: for example, human-level artificial general intelligence systems raise questions about the moral status of the systems themselves.

Call for Papers

Date: July 12-14, 2017.

Location: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

  • David Brink (University of California, San Diego)
  • Julia Driver (Washington University at St. Louis)
  • Douglas Portmore (Arizona State University)
  • Michael Smith (Princeton)

The aim of the conference is to bring together theorists working on the neutral/relative divide. This divide marks a fault line in normative ethics and rational choice theory.

We seek long abstracts (maximum 1,000 words) that address central questions surrounding the neutral/relative divide. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Agent-Relative Consequentialism