Ertegun Staff and Scholar Profiles

Portrait photo of Bastian Stern

Bastian Stern

BPhil Philosophy | 2014 Graduate

I am a BPhil student in philosophy at Magdalen College. Before coming to Oxford, I read philosophy as an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge. I tend to be interested in those areas in philosophy with the greatest practical significance. A research interest in that category which I intend to focus on in the near future is the topic of moral uncertainty, which concerns the question of what one should do when one is uncertain between a number of different theories about what one should do. Moreover, I am particularly interested in the ethics of career choice and our obligations to the global poor.

I am also concerned with philosophical issues that arise when thinking about the moral significance of so-called “existential risks” - risks that threaten the entire future of humanity. My interest in what I consider to be the greatest moral issues goes beyond a merely academic one, and for this reason I founded the Cambridge chapter of the Oxford-based organisation Giving What We Can, a society for people who pledge to give at least 10% of their earnings to the most cost-effective charities. Whilst at Oxford, I am planning to spend much of my free time acting as a researcher for Giving What We Can and its sister organisation 80,000 Hours, which aims to answer the question of how individuals can use their career to do as much as possible to make the world a better place.