Center for Values and Social Policy


Ajume Wingo

Steering Cmte.
David Boonin
Eric Chwang
Chris Heathwood
Benjamin Hale
Alison Jaggar
Claudia Mills
Alastair Norcross
Michael Tooley

Citizens Advisory Board
Kent Northcote
Katherine Armstrong
Darren Roebuck
Jerome Rifkin
Leanne Abdnor
Randy Baca
Steve Howse
Bill Hazel
Nathan Seidel

Affiliated Faculty
John Fisher
Hye-Ryoung Kang
Michael Huemer
Wes Morriston
Graham Oddie
Michael Peirce
Dan Sturgis
Michael Zimmerman



who's who

Ajume Wingo is the Director of the Center. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy at CU-Boulder and an Associate of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard. A citizen of Cameroon, he was born in Nso in the North West Province. He attended Cameroon College of Arts, Science and Technology (CCAST) Bambili where he studied History, Economics and Geography. He also attended the University Yaounde, Cameroon where he studied law at the Faculty of Law and Economics. He obtained his BA from the University of California Berkeley and an MA (1995) and PhD (1997) from the University of Wisconsin Madison. He has been a fellow at the Institute of Race and Social Division, Boston University and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Clark University and Emerson College. He has been an Assistant and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Senior Fellow at the Center for Democracy and Development at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He has published widely on liberal democratic philosophy and politics, particularly on institutional building in places where there are non-liberal democratic or illegitimate political institutions. He has also published on African Art and Aesthetics. His book Veil Politics in Liberal Democratic States is published by Cambridge University Press in the series Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Public Policy. He is currently working on a book entitled The Citizen, in collaboration with Dr. Michael Kruse. The book is about how Africans can move beyond where their history has put them and begin to make their own future. It is about political freedom.


David Boonin's current interests lie primarily in the field of applied ethics. He is especially interested in issues involving the moral status of individuals other than currently existing adult human beings (e.g., non-human animals, fetuses, future generations). He is currently completing work on a project on the problem of punishment and is beginning work on a project on issues in applied ethics related to race (especially affirmative action and slave reparations, but also hate speech codes, hate crime statutes and racial profiling).


Benjamin Hale assumed responsibilities as Director of the Center in the Fall of 2006. He works primarily in the area of environmental ethics and environmental policy, though his interests span much larger concerns in applied ethics, normative ethics, and even metaethics. He has particular interest in questions revolving around practical reason and discourse, and has been working recently on matters of nature, freedom, communicative and practical reason. For more on his work, visit his website:


Chris Heathwood received his Ph.D. in 2005, the same year he joined CU's philosophy department. He specializes in ethical theory -- particularly in axiology. He has written on desire-satisfaction theories of welfare, hedonism, the desire theory of pleasure, and the metaethics of welfare. Other interests in normative ethics include moral status, population axiology, and Rossianism. Other interests in metaethics include whether value is objective and whether it is non-natural.


Alison Jaggar joined the faculty at CU-Boulder in 1990 and holds a joint appointment with the Women's Studies Program. Her primary areas of interest are contemporary social, moral and political philosophy, usually from a feminist perspective. In recent years, She has been especially interested in moral epistemology, specifically methods of practical reasoning in non-ideal circumstances. She has also been working in democratic theory and global justice theory.


Claudia Mills arrived at the University of Colorado in 1992 after spending almost a decade as director of publications for the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland. She is also the author of more than 30 children's books. She writes on a wide range of topics in ethical theory, social and political philosophy, and applied ethics, as well as on philosophical issues and themes in children's literature. Her current research interests are focused on ethical issues in children's literature and ethical issues in parenting/child-rearing.


Graham Oddie is interested mostly in value theory: what value is, whether there is any such thing, whether we can know anything about it, and if so how we know about it, the relation of value to nature, the relation of value to the deontic sphere, and the nature of experiences of value. This occasionally spills over into applied ethics: for example, the relative disvalue of killing and letting-die, or more generally or doing and allowing, the value of freedom, and the disvalue of addiction.


Michael Tooley's main research interests in the values area are as follows: (1) In applied ethics: abortion, euthanasia, cloning, sexual morality, freedom of thought and expression, the ethics of belief, and religious indoctrination. (2) In social and political philosophy: socialism and leftwing libertarianism (3) In theoretical ethics: Mackie's error theory.


Michael E. Zimmerman arrived at CU-Boulder after teaching for 31 years at Tulane University, where he co-founded the Center for Ethics and Public Affairs. Now a professor of philosophy at CU, Zimmerman is also Director of the Center for Humanities and the Arts. His interests in ethics lie in the following areas: 1) environmental ethics, including intrinsic value of non-human beings; environmental, cultural, ethical problems posed by modern technology; integrating multiple perspectives on the non-human world, European philosophical approaches (especially Nietzsche and Heidegger) to defining environmental, and dangers posed by anti-modernist themes in environmentalism; 2) war and terrorism, with emphasis on the nuclear arms race, the extent to which 20th century world wars were symptoms of a deeper problem in Western civilization; 3) authenticity, development, and ethics, the extent to which ethical norms are in some way correlated with the stage of personal, cognitive, and spiritual development of individuals and cultures.


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