This post is part of a series of interviews with our incoming class for the “Virtue & Happiness” 2016 Summer Seminar. Ryan Darr is a Religious Ethics and Religious Studies doctoralstudent at Yale University.
Valerie Wallace: Where are you from?
Ryan Darr: I grew up in the small Midwestern city of Adrian, MI and spent six years after college in Chicago before moving to New Haven.
VW: Tell me about your research:
RD: I study theological ethics in the Christian tradition. My dissertation explores the theological origins of utilitarian moral philosophy in the 17th and 18th centuries. I am interested in understanding the emergence of modern moral philosophy in relation to its theological sources. I think this is important both for the sake of contemporary self-understanding and for opening space for religious contributions in contemporary moral debates. I also have particular interests in virtue ethics, moral formation, philosophy of action, and the psychology of character.
VW: What are you most looking forward to about this summer’s Virtue & Happiness seminar?
RD: I look forward to the interdisciplinary conversations. I find that conversations across disciplines tend to challenge my basic assumption and produce fruitful confusions.
VW: What are your non-academic interests?
RD: My primary activity beyond work is spending time with my two-year old daughter. Beyond that I like to run, play soccer, garden, and occasionally even read for fun.