Mission and Vision

The Kellogg Center for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics is a hub for cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and research-centered teaching in the humanities and social sciences.

RESEARCH FOCUS. Our interdependent globalized world faces a myriad of individual and collective decision-making problems that often cut across the boundaries of academic disciplines. Questions concerning market processes, government intervention, taxation, social welfare, well-being, healthcare, environmental sustainability, international trade, poverty, social justice, and global justice all involve positive and normative elements, are multidimensional, and can be addressed adequately only through interdisciplinary analysis. The Kellogg Center for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics provides foundational research that is necessary for such analysis.

Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely at Public Lecture 

CROSS-COLLEGE INITIATIVE. The Kellogg Center for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics is one of the first research centers in the world that is dedicated to interdisciplinary research in PPE. The Center is housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and operates in close collaboration with the College of Science. The Center advances the University’s Beyond Boundaries vision. It fosters research collaborations across campus and provides faculty and students with the opportunity to work collaboratively on some of the most pressing social and economic problems of our time. PPE as a program of study has been established at Virginia Tech in 2015.

RESEARCH-CENTERED TEACHING. The Center oversees two interdisciplinary undergraduate degree programs (a major and minor in PPE) that train students to become leaders in the 21st century. The degree programs provide students with the tools, methods, and knowledge to develop comprehensive solutions to complex interdisciplinary decision-making problems, solutions that are not only economically sound, but also socially, ethically, and politically informed. The degree programs are centered on an undergraduate research project.

ENGAGING PROGRAMMING. The Center maintains a highly active programming schedule. In addition to supporting other events on campus, the Center typically hosts over fifteen events per year. The Center organizes research-focused events, such as a research speaker series, research fellow panels, conferences, workshops, and public lectures, and student-centered events and activities, such as an undergraduate journal, reading groups, discussion colloquia, and a PPE Club. The Center’s programming fosters dialogue among faculty, students, and the public and supports the Center’s integration of research and teaching. We select guest speakers and make programming decisions based on suggestions of our core faculty, research fellows, affiliated faculty, stakeholders, students, and the interests of the wider community at Virginia Tech.

Past and present guest speakers include Kyoto Prize Winner Martha C. Nussbaum, Nobel Prize Winner Amartya Sen, New York Times bestselling author Dan Ariely, award-winning British historian Adam Tooze, Nobel Prize Winner Esther Duflo, award-winning philosopher, cultural theorist, and novelist Kwame Anthony Appiah, and MacArthur Fellow Grant Winner Elizabeth Anderson.

Kyoto Prize Winner Martha C. Nussbaum

PPE COMMUNITY. In all its efforts, the Center is guided by principles of academic freedom, independence, integrity, and respect. The Center’s faculty and students come from diverse backgrounds across the globe. Our faculty encourages and brings a variety of perspectives to social scientific research and fosters inclusive classroom teaching. In addition, the Center regularly invites scholars to discuss a wide range of socially relevant topics to help build a welcoming community that is essential to the functioning of society and the flourishing of each of its members.

Center Director

Michael Moehler is Professor of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Virginia Tech. He is Founding Director and core faculty member of the Kellogg Center. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the London School of Economics (LSE). During his career, Dr. Moehler held Visiting Professorships in philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and its joint Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics with Duke University, as well as the University of Graz. In addition, he was a Faculty Fellow at the Parr Center for Ethics at UNC-Chapel Hill and a Research Fellow at the Center for Ethics and Public Affairs at the Murphy Institute at Tulane University. Finally, he served as John Stuart Mill Visiting Chair of Social Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Hamburg and he will be serving as a Visiting Research Professor at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf in 2024-2025.

Dr. Moehler has more than fifteen years of research and teaching experience in PPE, spanning the U.S., U.K., and Europe. During his career, he received several nominations and awards for research and teaching. Most recently, he received a Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The award recognizes outstanding international research accomplishments and exceptional promise for lasting impact beyond one’s research field.

Dr. Moehler is the author of Minimal Morality: A Multilevel Social Contract Theory (Oxford University Press) and Contractarianism (Cambridge University Press). With John Thrasher, he is co-editor of New Approaches to Social Contract Theory (Oxford University Press) and Strategic Justice, Conventions, and Game Theory (Springer). His work appeared in journals such as Politics, Philosophy & Economics, Utilitas, Philosophical Studies, Analysis, Synthese, Analytic Philosophy, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Œconomia, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, European Journal of Philosophy, Journal of Social Philosophy, Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, and the Journal of Global Ethics. For more information about his work, please visit his website.

Center Staff and Advising

Holly Belcher

Business, Marketing, and Program Manager
820 University City Blvd

/ PPE Expertise

For all PPE business and marketing questions, please contact Holly via email for assistance.

Heath Furrow

Professional Advisor; Academic Advising Center, CLAHS
439 Major Williams Hall

/ PPE Expertise

To schedule an advising session with Heath, please visit Navigate.

PPE Stakeholders

Laura Belmonte

Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

Kevin Pitts

Dean of the College of Science

Timothy W. Luke

Chair, Department of Political Science

Sudipta Sarangi

Head, Department of Economics

Kelly Trogdon

Head, Department of Philosophy

Brian Shabanowitz

Associate Dean for Finance and Administration and Chief of Staff (CLAHS)

Affiliated Departments and Colleges