Mission and Aims

The mission of the Center for Ethics will be to promote rigorous inquiry into, probing reflection on, and responsible engagement with the ethical dimensions of life. 

The Center for Ethics is uniquely situated to address both the perennial Big Questions about how to live well together and the most pressing ethical challenges of our times.  The Center is a site for discussing the ethical dimensions of life, for addressing difficult questions and hosting thought-provoking debates on controversial issues, and for exploring the connections and challenges of the multiplicity of ethical world views on our campus, in our communities and nation, and globally and cross-culturally.  The Center will take an active role in fostering cutting-edge ideas and research in the ethics arena, reflection on questions of the norms and habits that shape our institutions and lives, and conversations, ruminations, and productions on as wide an array of ethics-related topics as we can.

The Center for Ethics provides resources to develop and enhance opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and faculty to develop and apply the intellectual tools/means for recognizing, understanding, and reflecting well on ethical issues and for making sound decisions in addressing moral problems and issues of personal, interpersonal, campus, professional, institutional, social, and global concern. We aim in this way to advance the study and practice of ethics at Lehigh, to enrich the quality of understanding of, discussions about, and deliberation and decision-making concerning moral questions, issues, and problems, and to catalyze ethical leadership.

The Center for Ethics seeks to meet three needs: (1) the need for Lehigh students both to engage with the ethical complexities across campus and to become engaged, ethically sensitive citizens who are well-prepared to grapple with the difficult life choices they will face after graduation; (2) the needs and desire of faculty to address ethical issues in their research and teaching; and (3) the need for the university community to be a leader in addressing significant ethics issues of personal, interpersonal, campus, professional, institutional, social, and global concern. 

The Center for Ethics creates opportunities for reflection on ethical issues by promoting the study of ethics, broadly construed, in the curriculum, as well as engagement with ethical issues in the Lehigh life experience. It also supports faculty research and publication activity in the ethics arena, and provides a resource of ethics expertise for the wider community.