Lead PHIL Major Advisor
Office: Bldg. 47, Rm. 34P
Phone: (805) 756-1224
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.
- “Big Brother Goes to School: Best Practices for Campus Surveillance Technologies During the COVID-19 Pandemic“. (With Zach Rentz and Keith Abney) Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology. Vol 25, Issue 1: 162–183. DOI: 10.5840/techne2021226135.
- “Averting the moral free-for-all of autonomous weapons.” Fletcher Forum on World Affairs. Vol 41, no 2. Summer 2017.
- “A Dilemma for Moral Deliberation in AI” (with Duncan Purves). International Journal of Applied Ethics. Volume 30, Issue 2. Fall 2016.
- “Autonomous Vehicles Ethics & Law: Towards an Overlapping Consensus”. New America Foundation. September, 2016.
- “Autonomous Machines, Moral Judgment, and Acting for the Right Reasons” (with Duncan Purves and Bradley Strawser). Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. Volume 18, Issue 4. 2015.
- “Is Stuxnet Physical? Does it matter?” Journal of Military Ethics. Volume 12, Issue 1. 2013.
- 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.
- Panel Presentation, “Ethics of Autonomous Weapons.” McCain Conference. United States Naval Academy Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership. Annapolis, MD. April 2017.
- “What’s the perfect driverless car? It depends who you ask”. TEDxCal Poly. Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. October, 2016.