Religious Studies Program

The Cal Poly Philosophy Department houses a Religious Studies program with a wide variety of courses in GE and a Religious Studies minor.

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Between the Species

Between the Species online journal logoAn online philosophy journal about the relationship between humans and animals.
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Ethics Group

Cal Poly's Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group focuses on the implications and impact of emerging sciences and technologies.
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Ryan Jenkins

Ryan Jenkins, Cal Poly



Associate Chair

Lead PHIL Major Advisor

Contact Information


  • Applied ethics (especially military ethics and emerging technology)

  • Normative ethics (especially consequentialism)

  • Philosophy of fascism

  • Social and political philosophy


Dr. Ryan Jenkins is an associate professor of philosophy and a senior fellow at the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group. His research focuses on the potential for emerging technologies to enable or encumber meaningful human lives — especially artificial intelligence, cyber war, autonomous weapons, and driverless cars.

Dr. Jenkins has affiliations with the Center for Advancing Safety of Machine Intelligence (CASMI) at Northwestern University and the Karel Čapek Center for Values in Science and Technology in Prague. He is a former member of the IEEE TechEthics Ad Hoc committee and a former co-chair of the Robot Ethics Technical Committee of the IEEE’s Robotics & Automation Society. He has served as a principal investigator or senior personnel for several grants on the ethics of autonomous vehicles, predictive policing, and cyberwar.

His work has appeared in journals such as Techne, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, and the Journal of Military Ethics, as well as public fora including the Washington Post, Slate and Forbes. His works has been cited in Daedalus, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and Philosophy Compass. His interviews have appeared in The New Yorker, Inc. Magazine, Engadget, NPR, and elsewhere.

Dr. Jenkins earned his BA in Philosophy from Florida State University (Phi Beta Kappa) and his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Colorado Boulder. He earned the College of Liberal Arts’s Early Career Award for Achievement in Scholarship in Spring 2021.

Selected Publications

Edited Anthologies

  • The Ethics of Autonomous Vehicles: The Trolley Problem and Beyond (with David Cerny, Tomas Hribek). Oxford University Press. To be released in 2022.
  • Who Should Die? The Ethics of Killing in War (with Mike Robillard and BJ Strawser). Oxford University Press. 2017.
  • Robot Ethics 2.0: From Autonomous Cars to Artificial Intelligence (with Patrick Lin and Keith Abney). Oxford University Press. 2017.

Selected Presentations

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