Rock Ethics Institute spearheads symposium on policing, policy and philosophy

Rock Ethics Institute spearheads symposium on policing, policy and philosophy

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Rock Ethics Institute looks forward to hosting the inaugural Policing, Policy and Philosophy Initiative (3PI) Virtual Symposium, taking place Friday, March 1. Supported by the American Philosophical Association and the Penn State Department of Philosophy, this event features ethical and philosophical research on policing.

“At the heart of many debates over policing today are questions of ethics, justice, and politics,” said Ben Jones, assistant director of the Rock Ethics Institute and a principal organizer of the event. “Philosophy might not have all the answers, but it offers insights into policing’s role in a democratic society, what justice demands of policing, and how ethics can inform policy. 3PI brings together leading scholars to delve into these issues, emphasizing the relevance of their work to policy.”

The symposium will showcase an international lineup of speakers, presenting cutting-edge research at the intersection of policing and philosophy. This virtual event, which begins at 10:30 a.m. ET on March 1, is open to the public. Those interested in attending should register here.

The event opens with the presentation of the 3PI Best Paper Prize recipient, Luke William Hunt, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Alabama. He received the prize for his paper “Police Interrogation and Fraudulent Epistemic Environments.” This innovative account of deception by police during interrogations explains what makes the practice morally hazardous and how it undermines police legitimacy.

Topics span from exploring the ethical duties of law enforcement to the relationship between policing and broader injustice in society. The symposium reflects Penn State’s dedication to pioneering research that transcends disciplinary divides, deepening the understanding of public policy and law enforcement’s ethical dimensions.

The 3PI initiative: Bridging research and policy

Through grant funding from the American Philosophical Association and Rock Ethics Institute, the Policing, Policy and Philosophy Initiative (3PI) launched this past year and represents a concerted effort to bring philosophical analysis to the forefront of discussions on policing and public policy. By establishing a comprehensive database of philosophical research on policing, 3PI aims to map the evolution of thought in this critical area, identifying key trends and fostering an informed dialogue among academics, policymakers, and the public.

3PI’s work, including its symposium and ongoing research endeavors, exemplifies Penn State’s role as a leader in addressing complex societal issues through rigorous, interdisciplinary scholarship. As 3PI continues to grow, it seeks not only to contribute to academic discourse but also to inform evaluation of police policy, sensitive to the ethical issues that policing raises.

Topic(s): Global Issues, Public Life, Race
Photo of Ben Jones
Ben Jones