Volume 1: Spring 2016

Table of Contents


Papers Presented at the Conference

Additional Paper

Editing Team

Editor in Chief

Teddy Corcoran '16 is a senior from Rochester, NY. A Philosophy major and Africana Studies minor, Teddy plans to take a gap year before pursuing graduate work in public policy. Teddy is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, a member of the Washington and Lee Men's Golf Team, and has twice served as captain for the VFIC ethics bowl team.

Associate Editor

Stephanie Foster '16 is a senior from Columbia, MD. A Philosophy and French double major, Foster plans to defer admission for one year from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis in order to teach English in France through the French Ministry of Education. Foster is a member of Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Beta Kappa, and the W&L Varsity Women's Swimming Team. She is the president of Washington and Lee's chapter of the Phi Sigma Tau International Philosophy Honor Society and the Philosophy Club.

Assistant Editors

William Brown '16 is a senior Philosophy and Classics major from Huntington, WV, and will be attending law school in the fall of 2016. William has contributed to the Sunoikisis Undergraduate Research Journal and the Epigraphic Database Roma, and is the former Flying Type Gym Leader for the University of St. Andrews Pokémon Society.

Spencer Payne '17 is a junior from Davenport, IA. He is an Economics major and Mass Communications minor, and is one of the founding members of W&L's Leadership Education and Development program. Spencer is also a member of the men's golf team, an opinion writer for the student newspaper, and is very involved in his Greek organization, Lambda Chi Alpha. In his spare time, he plays pool, ping pong, and badminton.

Austin Piatt '17 is a junior from Dayton, OH. A Politics and Philosophy double major, Piatt plans to attend law school upon graduation from Washington and Lee and eventually work in Washington, DC. Austin is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa, and is also a captain on the Men's Basketball Team. He has served on the university's Mock Convention Platform Committee as well as W&L's White Book Review Committee.

Zachary Taylor '17 is a junior from Syracuse, New York. He is pursuing majors in Philosophy and Classics and a minor in Poverty and Human Capability Studies. Zach is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Washington and Lee Student Recruitment Committee, and represents students as a Hearing Advisor. Having participated in an archaeological excavation in Athens this past summer, Zach hopes to attend graduate school in Classics.

Parker Butler '18 is a sophomore from Mobile, Alabama. A Journalism major and Creative Writing minor, Parker serves as the Social Media Editor for e Odyssey Online. She is also a member of Kappa Delta, an editor for the Calyx, and serves on the First Year Orientation Committee.

About the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics

The Roger Mudd Center for Ethics was established in 2010 through a gift to the Uni versity from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd. When he made his gift, Mudd said that "given the state of ethics in our current culture, this seems a fitting time to endow a center for the study of ethics, and my university is its fitting home."

Today, the Mudd Center furthers that study of ethics by organizing rigorous, interdis­ciplinary programming. In addition to welcoming distinguished lecturers throughout the year to speak on ethical issues, the Mudd Center also sponsors and organizes ethics-based conferences, professional ethics institutes, and other public events that further discussion and thought about ethics among students, faculty, and staff at Washington and Lee and beyond.

About Roger Mudd

Roger Mudd graduated from Washington and Lee University with a degree in History in 1950. Mudd’s distinguished career in television journalism includes positions at CBS, NBC, PBS, and the History Channel. He has won five Emmy Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, and the Joan S. Barone Award for Distinguished Washington Reporting. Mudd serves on the board of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) and helped establish the VFIC Ethics Bowl, an annual competition in which teams from Virginia’s private colleges and universities debate ethical issues. He is also a member of the advisory committee for Washington and Lee’s department of Journalism and Mass Communications, and is an honored benefactor of Washington and Lee.

Letter from the Editor

On March 5th and 6th, 2016, eight undergraduate students arrived at Washington and Lee University to deliver papers addressing a wide variety of issues in ethics. Their topics ranged from virtuous economic practices, to interpretations of Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative, to the American criminal justice system. Each student presented his or her work with a passion and enthusiasm that generated fruitful and lively discussion about important issues in ethics.

The inaugural publication of The Mudd Journal of Ethics is an attempt to commemorate, celebrate, and expand upon those presentations. Indeed, it is our most sincere hope that an academic journal that recognizes the fine work of those students will generate further dialogue and appreciation of the ethical concerns they address.

At its essence, this journal is a product of several outstanding individual and group contributions. First of all, we owe an enormous amount of gratitude to Roger Mudd, who had the vision to create a Center for Ethics that supports ethical inquiry and dialogue of this sort. Many thanks are also due to Dr. Daniel Wubah and Provost Marc Conner, whose advice and enthusiasm have been immensely encouraging while creating this publication. We would also like to thank Denise Watts, Cindy Lawson and the staff at the Publications Office at Washington and Lee, as they have played an essential role in helping us to realize our ideas and to create a journal that we are truly proud of. I would be remiss not to thank the fantastic Mudd Journal editors, who have been invaluable in carefully selecting papers, providing important feedback, and making final edits. Finally, if there is one person who has been most central to this journal’s creation, it is undoubtedly Professor Angela Smith, the Director of the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics. From her support of the journal as di­rector, to her well-known warmth and enthusiasm, to her careful and thoughtful feedback each step of the way, she cannot be thanked enough for helping this publication come to fruition.

This journal is truly national in scope. With nine essays in total, it features the work of undergraduates from nine colleges located in seven different states, ranging from near­ by Virginia and Tennessee to far away California, Washington, and Minnesota. The papers are laid out in alphabetical order, and are followed by an additional essay that was not presented at the conference, but that was accepted for publication by the editors.

With all of that said, it is my distinct hope that you will have the chance to read through each of these essays and to get a sense of the excellent ethics-based scholarship that is being produced by undergraduates around the country. I daresay a thorough reading will engender a sense of admiration and appreciation for these nine very talented students. It certainly did for me.