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Philosophy professor wins Young Ethicist Prize

August 24, 2012
Jason Hanna

Jason Hanna

NIU philosophy professor Jason Hanna recently has received the Young Ethicist Prize from the Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress (RoME) for his essay submission titled, “Doing, Allowing and The Relevance of the Past.”

Each year, RoME offers the prize to the top paper written by an non-tenured ethicist. As a winner of the award, Hanna will receive a check for $250.

“Most people seem to think that there is a morally important difference between actively doing harm and merely refraining from helping someone,” Hanna said, summarizing his submission. “My paper challenged this view by showing that its defenders can’t develop a plausible account of the moral relevance of a person’s past behavior.”

Hanna is also a faculty associate in the Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy. He hopes the award will help lead to a publication.

“I was very honored, especially since there were so many good papers on the conference program. The award should also help my research to get published,” Hanna said. “Like many philosophy papers, my paper presents a puzzle, and I’m curious to see how others will respond to it once it is out in print.”