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Ruth Chang  

Professor of Philosophy, Author and Editor

Ruth Chang is a professor of philosophy at Rutgers University. She is known for her research on the incommensurability of values and on practical reason and normativity. She is the author of Making Comparisons Count, and the editor of the first volume on the topic of incommensurability of values in the Anglo-American world, “Incommensurability”, “Incomparability”, and “Practical Reason”, and has authored numerous articles and book chapters.

Chang graduated from Dartmouth College in 1985 with a B.A. in philosophy. In 1988, she graduated from Harvard Law School with a J.D. In 1991, she was appointed a Junior Research Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford, where she completed her D. Phil. in 1997 after two year-long visiting appointments at UCLA and the University of Chicago Law School. She also lectured at several of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in this time period.

Chang’s principal research interests lie in normative ethics, metaethics, action theory and moral psychology. Her work focuses on practical conflict, the nature of reasons and values and their relations, and rational agency. She is known for arguing that two items which are neither better nor worse than one another and yet not equally good may nevertheless be comparable: they may be ‘on a par’. Her work develops a view of rational agency, ‘hybrid voluntarism’, that grows out of her interest in the under determination of values and their associated reasons according to which agents can create reasons and values through willing something to be a reason. She has also written on value pluralism and social choice.

Chang has received a number of awards including a fellowship from the National Humanities Center, a Harvard Safra Center fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government, a Laurence S. Rockefeller Fellowship at the Princeton University Center for Human Values, an American Council of Learned Society Charles K. Ryskamp fellowship, and a Scot's Centenary Fellow.

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