Brian Berkey

Brian Berkey
  • Assistant Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    664 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
    3730 Walnut Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: business ethics, corporate and individual obligations of justice, moral demandingness, climate change ethics, ideal and non-ideal theory, collective obligations, methodology in ethics

Links: Personal Website, CV

Overview

Brian Berkey works in moral and political philosophy (including business ethics and environmental ethics), in particular on questions about the demandingness of morality, individual and corporate obligations of justice, ethical issues arising with regard to climate change, and the relationship between ideal and non-ideal theory. He is also interested in the notion of collective obligations and their relationship to individual obligations, as well as in methodological issues in ethics and political philosophy, including the appropriate role of appeals to intuitions. His work has appeared in journals such as Mind, Philosophical Studies, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Utilitas, Business Ethics Quarterly, Journal of Business Ethics, and Journal of Applied Philosophy.

Education

Ph.D in Philosophy, University of California-Berkeley

M.A. in Humanities and Social Thought, New York University

B.A. in Philosophy (with honors) and Politics, New York University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Academic Positions

Berggruen Fellow, Harvard University, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics (2018-19)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University, Center for Ethics in Society (2013-15)

Lecturer, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Philosophy (2013)

Research Fellow, University of Melbourne, Social Justice Initiative (2012)

 

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Research

Brian is currently working on papers about the wrong of exploitation, the ethics of boycotts, autonomous vehicle ethics, corporate climate change mitigation obligations, and effective altruism.

Teaching

Current Courses

  • LGST100 - Ethics & Social Resp

    This course explores business responsibility from rival theoretical and managerial perspectives. Its focus includes theories of ethics and their application to case studies in business. Topics include moral issues in advertising and sales; hiring and promotion; financial management; corporate pollution; product safety; and decision-making across borders and cultures.

    LGST100001 ( Syllabus )

    LGST100002 ( Syllabus )

  • LGST220 - Int'l Business Ethics

    This course is a multidisciplinary, interactive study of business ethics within a global economy. A central aim of the course is to enable students to develop a framework to address ethical challenges as they arise within and across different countries. Alternative theories about acting ethically in global environments are presented, and critical current issues are introduced and analyzed. Examples include bribery, global sourcing, environmental sustainability, social reports, intellectual property, e-commerce, and dealing with conflicting standards and values across cultures. As part of this study, the course considers non-Western ethical traditions and practices as they relate to business.

    LGST220401 ( Syllabus )

  • LGST820 - Int'l Business Ethics

    This course is a multidisciplinary, interactive study of business ethics within a global economy. A central aim of the course is to enable students to develop a framework to address ethical challenges as they arise within and across different countries. Alternative theories about acting ethically in global environments are presented, and critical current issues are introduced and analyzed. Examples include bribery, global sourcing, environmental sustainability, social reports, intellectual property, e-commerce, and dealing with conflicting standards and values across cultures. As part of this study, the course considers non-Western ethical traditions and practices as they relate to business.

    LGST820401 ( Syllabus )

Past Courses

  • LGST100 - ETHICS & SOCIAL RESP

    This course explores business responsibility from rival theoretical and managerial perspectives. Its focus includes theories of ethics and their application to case studies in business. Topics include moral issues in advertising and sales; hiring and promotion; financial management; corporate pollution; product safety; and decision-making across borders and cultures.

  • LGST220 - INT'L BUSINESS ETHICS

    This course is a multidisciplinary, interactive study of business ethics within a global economy. A central aim of the course is to enable students to develop a framework to address ethical challenges as they arise within and across different countries. Alternative theories about acting ethically in global environments are presented, and critical current issues are introduced and analyzed. Examples include bribery, global sourcing, environmental sustainability, social reports, intellectual property, e-commerce, and dealing with conflicting standards and values across cultures. As part of this study, the course considers non-Western ethical traditions and practices as they relate to business.

  • LGST299 - SEMINAR IN LAW & SOCIETY

    A study of the nature, functions, and limits of law as an agency of societal policy. Each semester an area of substantive law is studied for the purpose of examining the relationship between legal norms developed and developing in the area and societal problems and needs.

  • LGST820 - INT'L BUSINESS ETHICS

    This course is a multidisciplinary, interactive study of business ethics within a global economy. A central aim of the course is to enable students to develop a framework to address ethical challenges as they arise within and across different countries. Alternative theories about acting ethically in global environments are presented, and critical current issues are introduced and analyzed. Examples include bribery, global sourcing, environmental sustainability, social reports, intellectual property, e-commerce, and dealing with conflicting standards and values across cultures. As part of this study, the course considers non-Western ethical traditions and practices as they relate to business.

  • LGST920 - ETHICS IN BUS & ECON

    The seminar explores the growing academic literature in business ethics. It also provides participants an opportunity to investigate an ethical issue of their choosing in some depth, using their field of specialty as context. The seminar assumes no previous exposure to business ethics. Different business ethics theories and frameworks for investigating issues will be discussed, including corporate social responsibility, corporate moral agency, theories of values, and corporate governance. In turn, these theories will be applied to a range of issues, both domestic and international. Such issues include: corruption in host countries, the management of values in modern corporations, the ethical status of the corporation, ethics in sophisticated financial transactions (such as leveraged derivative transactions), and gender discrimination in the context of cultural differences. Literature not only from business ethics, but from professional and applied ethics, law, and organizational behavior will be discussed. Often, guest speakers will address the seminar. At the discretion of the class, special topics of interest to the class will be examined. Students will be expected to write and present a major paper dealing with a current issue within their major field. The course is open to students across fields, and provides integration of ideas across multiple business disciplines.

  • PPE 498 - DIRECTED HONORS RESEARCH

    Student arranges with a faculty member to do research and write a thesis on a suitable topic. For more information on honors visit: https://ppe.sas.upenn.edu/study/curriculum/honors-theses

Awards and Honors

In the News

Knowledge @ Wharton

Activity

Latest Research

Brian Berkey (Forthcoming), Rawlsian Institutionalism and Business Ethics: Does it Matter Whether Corporations are Part of the Basic Structure of Society?.
All Research

In the News

The Climate Change Debate: Will New Proposals Provide Any Solutions?

Wharton experts discuss climate change proposals from the 2020 presidential candidates.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2019/09/6
All News