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W&L’s Mudd Center for Ethics Hosts Annual Undergraduate Conference The virtual conference on March 4 will feature students from across the country.

Nguyen-website-400x379 W&L’s Mudd Center for Ethics Hosts Annual Undergraduate ConferenceC. Thi Nguyen will deliver the keynote address at the conference.

Washington and Lee University’s Roger Mudd Center for Ethics will host a virtual conference on March 4. The Mudd Center Undergraduate Ethics Conference is the only open undergraduate conference in the country solely dedicated to the academic study of ethical issues. All accepted speakers will have the opportunity to not only present their papers at the conference, but also to have them published in the Mudd Journal of Ethics.

The conference is free and open to the public to watch online, but registration is required and can be accessed here.

There will be multiple student presenters from universities and colleges across the United States, and W&L students will facilitate a discussion in response to each presentation. A full schedule of events is available online here.

C. Thi Nguyen, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Utah, will deliver the keynote address, titled “Hostile Epistemology.” Nguyen is interested in how social structures and technology shape what we care about and how we think and behave. He writes about a range of topics related to epistemology, aesthetics and the philosophy of games, and is particularly interested in how our rationality and agency are influenced by designed social structures such as games, echo chambers and bureaucracies. In his keynote remarks, Nguyen will discuss how a hostile environment can exploit humans’ cognitive weaknesses, which arise because humans do not have enough time and energy to understand everything, and therefore take shortcuts that leave us vulnerable.

Nguyen is a prolific scholar and an active voice in public philosophy. His recent book, “Games: Agency as Art,” won the American Philosophical Associations 2021 Book Prize, and his article, “Trust as an Unquestioning Attitude,” won Honorable Mention in the 2019 Marc Sanders Prize in Epistemology.

The Roger Mudd Center for Ethics was established in 2010 through a gift to the university from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd, a 1960 graduate of W&L. By facilitating collaboration across traditional institutional boundaries, the center aims to encourage a multidisciplinary perspective on ethics informed by both theory and practice. Previous Mudd Center lecture series topics have included Race and Justice in America, The Ethics of Citizenship, Markets and Morals, Equality and Difference, The Ethics of Identity, The Ethics of Technology and Daily Ethics.