Rebecca Carlson

Director of Scholarship

Rebecca Carlson is the incoming Director of Scholarship at Equal Rights Institute. Currently, she is a PhD student and teaching assistant in philosophy at the University of Southern California. Her dissertation is in metaethics; her other areas of research include philosophy of law, epistemology, and philosophy of religion. She expects to receive her PhD and join ERI in the spring of 2024.

Rebecca’s favorite part of her work at USC is teaching her students how to cultivate mutual, respectful dialogues with people they disagree with. She has also spoken on that topic for both academic and popular audiences. That work has led her to the strong conviction that if we can teach one side of an issue how to approach dialogues well, people on the other side will very often follow suit, so that we really can radically transform the state of public discourse on abortion just by helping the pro-life side to have a better approach: we can create a culture where people on both sides value each other more and perceive the truth more clearly, and ultimately we can change more minds and save more lives. She’s excited to continue and expand that work at ERI through academic research, speaking, writing, and coaching pro-life clubs.

“You can’t fix a dialogue single-handedly—it takes two good-faith interlocutors to make a good-faith dialogue. But what you can do is make the first move. You can clearly communicate and demonstrate your care for the other person, your genuine desire to understand where they’re coming from, and your openness to considering their point of view, even while they’re not doing the same for you. It takes a little bit of work and a lot of charity, but if you do that, far more often than not the other person will meet you halfway—even people you think of as crazy extremists.”

Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Science degree in philosophy, summa cum laude, from Hillsdale College, with minors in theatre and mathematics and a concentration in Latin.