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BSC's Basquiat publishes ethics paper

Posted on 10/24/2013

Tayo Basquiat
Tayo Basquiat
Tayo Basquiat, Bismarck State College philosophy assistant professor, has an article published in the premiere issue of the Northern Plains Ethics Journal.

Titled "Energy Development and Development Ethics," the piece is among six peer-reviewed articles in the scholar section. The first issue also contains essays by community members and college students.

The journal is an online publication of the Northern Plains Ethics Institute at North Dakota State University and the first peer reviewed ethics and philosophy journal in North Dakota. Its purpose is to promote awareness and discussion of ethical and social issues affecting North Dakota and elsewhere.

In his article, Basquiat makes the case for using development ethics as a method to evaluate decisions and practices about North Dakota's energy development with the goal of greater social justice.

"We usually think of economic cost benefit analysis with energy, but developmental ethics seeks to widen that scope to include social, communal, human and environmental impact," Basquiat said.

Basquiat proposes criteria be met before projects are approved and offers suggestions for corrective action to mitigate negative impact already underway. He addresses energy development across the state, including wind, coal, oil, ethanol and natural gas, as well as the proposed Keystone pipeline.

Basquiat said he uses the topic of energy development for discussion in his philosophical ethics classes. His approach assumes one choice relates to other factors and the inter-relatedness of all things.

Basquiat holds membership in the International Development Ethics Association, a subgroup with the American Philosophy Association.

"These are the kinds of concerns we attempt to address in our work," Basquiat said, "and I feel I've done an important contribution in North Dakota, where everyone is on board for being in a state where people want to live."

About Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities. For more information, visit

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