Arshak Balayan, lecturer at American University of Armenia, is the Sanford School’s Magdalena Yesil Visiting Professor for the fall 2017 semester. He holds a PhD in philosophy from Yerevan State University, where he also taught for 11 years. He also has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University for three semesters.
His teaching and research interests are in the areas of ethics and political philosophy. While at Duke he plans to complete two papers, one on “the knowledge commons,” and the other on the meaning of trust in the creation of civil society and its ability to engage in democratic collective action. He also is interested in learning new teaching and research techniques, and participating in round-table discussions and workshops.
Balayan is working on a joint book project on information infrastructure in Armenia that includes chapters on freedom vs. control of information, as well as the ethics of information. The book examines research libraries, educational institutions, and property rights law in Armenia with the aim of comparing them with corresponding institutions in other countries. He and his colleagues examine the grounds of intellectual property rights, the moral grounds and arguments for knowledge commons, as well as possibilities of promoting them in Armenia.
Balayan also plans to sit in on classes and discuss his research with faculty. He is available for small group discussions, lectures or seminars on a variety of topics.