Ryan Preston-Roedder, Philosophy

The activist’s faith in the very political leaders and citizens who accept, or even support, oppressive institutions may prompt her to pursue a campaign of non-violent resistance, which seeks not only to eliminate injustice, but also to convert one’s oppressors and enter into community with them.

RYAN PRESTON-ROEDDER - from Research Summary



Visiting Assistant Professor 2016-2017
Hosted by the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy

Ryan Preston-Roedder is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Research interests: Moral and political philosophy, philosophy of religion, medical ethics, philosophy and literature

2016-2017 Scholars

Three Varieties of Faith

Talk presented at Invited Symposium of the Pacific APA (Apr 2015) and Fall Conference, Project on the Nature and Value of Faith (Nov 2014)

In this paper (2014), Ryan Preston-Roedder discusses three varieties of faith that a virtuous person has in people: faith in herself, faith in people to whom she bears certain special relationships, and faith in humanity.

Non-religious ethics has devoted relatively little attention to the nature and significance of faith. Perhaps this is unsurprising: the significance of faith is typically associated with theism, and so it may seem that a study of faith has little to offer non-religious ethics. But, whether or not theism holds, certain kinds of faith are centrally important virtues, that is, character traits that are morally admirable or admirable from some broader perspective of human flourishing.

Coming to understand the nature of these forms of faith and the roles that they play in human life promises to deepen our understanding of aspects of moral life and aspects of human flourishing that are poorly grasped. Beyond this, it makes valuable contributions to the recent literature on self-trust and on epistemic partiality in friendship, and it helps us clarify, to some degree, the relation between our epistemic and practical ideals.


Ryan Preston-Roedder is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research areas of specialization are: Moral and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion. His areas of competence are: Medical Ethics, Philosophy and Literature.

In 2000, Preston-Roedder earned a B.A in Philosophy (summa cum laude) from Rice University. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy (2007) from New York University, where he was a Henry Mitchell MacCracken Fellow. His dissertation was titled "Civic Trust: On the Foundations of Moral Rights".

Preston-Roedder is also the recipient of fellowships from the New York Institute of Philosophy Science and Religion Project (2006–07) and from the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University (2007–08).

In 2008, Preston-Roedder joined the faculty at UNC Chapel Hill, where he was honored with a 2010 Junior Faculty Development Award by the Office of the Provost. In 2014, he was awarded a “Faith in Humanity” Research Award by the Templeton Foundation Project on the Nature and Value of Faith.

As an MIT MLK Visiting Assistant Professor, Preston-Roedder will be hosted by the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.


“A Better World,” Philosophical Studies 168 (2014): 629-644

“Faith in Humanity,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2013): 664-687. Awarded 2014 APA Article Prize Honorable Mention.



Kant’s Ethics and the Problems of Self-Deception

Grief and Recovery

Civic Trust


“Civic Trust and the Problem of Self-Defense”
MIT, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Jan 2007