Barbara Aronstein Black Lecture Series (Fall 2004)
Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law
University of Pennsylvania Law School
"Why Aren't We Better?": America's New Ethics Scene
Jerome Greene Hall 101
Prof. Allen's lecture, taken from her new book The New Ethics: A Guided Tour of the Twenty-first Century Moral Landscape (Miramax, 2004), looks at the nation's moral health as well as presents a practical guide for staying afloat in a time of ethical ambiguity.
Prof. Allen explores the moral problems posed by new technology, including designer babies and cosmetic surgery, capital punishment, financial fraud, and questions of honesty and dissimulation in sports, business, and politics.
Prof. Allen's interest in ethics began early, as a junior high student she integrated her school. She later earned a BA from New College in Sarastoa, Florida and an MA/PhD in philosophy from the University of Michigan. After receiving her law degree from Harvard, she practiced at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York. She was the first African-American woman on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh and the first to teach philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University. Currently, she is a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania.