The Radical Classical Liberals:
Neera K. Badhwar is Professor Emerita of Philosophy at the University of Oklahoma and a Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center, George Mason University. Her articles on moral psychology, ethical theory, and social-political theory have appeared in The Journal of Philosophy; Ethics; Nous; Philosophy and Phenomenological Research; Politics, Philosophy, and Economics; American Philosophical Quarterly; Social Philosophy and Policy; and other journals. Her book, Well-being: Happiness as the Highest Good, was published by Oxford University Press in 2014, and her anthology, Friendship: A Philosophical Reader, by Cornell University Press in 1993. She has received fellowships from the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University; Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University; and the Earhart Foundation.
Gary Chartier is Distinguished Professor of Law and Business Ethics and Associate Dean of the Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business at La Sierra University. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of seventeen current or forthcoming books, including Flourishing Lives: Exploring Natural Law Liberalism (Cambridge 2019) and The Logic of Commitment (Routledge 2018). His byline has appeared over forty times in journals including the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Legal Theory, Law and Philosophy, and Religious Studies. Visit him online at garychartier.net.
Andrew I. Cohen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgia State University. He has published on issues in reparations and apologies, rights theory, the ethics of friendship, and other topics in ethics, social/political philosophy, and applied ethics. He is most recently the author of Apologies and Moral Repair: Rights, Duties, and Corrective Justice (Routledge, 2020). He has also written or edited books on applied ethics and public policy. He has appeared on podcasts, radio, and TV to discuss themes in practical ethics and public policy.
Andrew Jason Cohen is Professor of Philosophy and Founding Coordinator of the Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) at Georgia State University. He is the author of Toleration and Freedom from Harm: Liberalism Reconceived (Routledge, 2018) and Toleration (Polity, 2014) as well as articles in journals like Ethics, The Canadian Journal of Philosophy, and in new reference works like The International Encyclopedia of Ethics and The Cambridge Companion to Liberalism. Increasingly, he is looking at toleration (or the lack thereof) in our system of criminal law, in business ethics, and in issues surrounding speech. (CV and papers available at https://andrewjasoncohen.academia.edu.)
Miranda Perry Fleischer is a Professor of Law at the University of San Diego whose writings focus on the relationship between tax policy and moral theory. More specifically, her work aims to bring more nuanced considerations of moral philosophy into tax academia, and more knowledge of tax policy in the real world to philosophical discussions. She has explored wealth and inheritance taxation, charitable giving incentives, and universal basic income schemes through this lens in numerous articles and book chapters. Recent works include The Architecture of a Basic Income; Atlas Nods: The Libertarian Case for a Basic Income; Not So Fast: The Hidden Difficulties of Taxing Wealth; How is the Opera Like a Soup Kitchen?, and Libertarianism and the Charitable Tax Subsidies. She is currently co-authoring a book on basic income with Matt Zwolinski and an article on libertarianism and inheritance taxation.
Lauren Hall is associate professor of political science at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is the author of The Medicalization of Birth and Death (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019),Family and the Politics of Moderation (Baylor University Press, 2014) and the co-editor of a volume on the political philosophy of French political thinker Chantal Delsol. She has written extensively on the classical liberal tradition, including articles on Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, and Montesquieu. She serves on the executive board of the interdisciplinary journal Cosmos+Taxis, which publishes on spontaneous orders in the social and political worlds. Her current research deals with the politics of women and the family in classical liberalism as well as issues in bioethics and healthcare regulation.
Chandran Kukathas holds the Lee Kong Chian Chair in Political Science, and is Dean of the School of Social Sciences, at Singapore Management University. He is the author of Hayek and Modern Liberalism, Rawls: “A Theory of Justice” and Its Critics (with Philip Pettit) and, The Liberal Archipelago: A Theory of Diversity and Freedom. His next book, Immigration and Freedom, will be published by Princeton University Press in 2021. He is, possibly, the most distinguished Malaysian-born Australian classical liberal political philosopher of Sri Lankan Tamil descent, to have worked at universities in North London and Singapore.
Mark LeBar is Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University . He works in moral, social, and political philosophy. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Arizona, an MA in philosophy from the University of Washington, and an MBA from Pepperdine University. Mark’s book, The Value of Living Well (Oxford University Press, 2013) is a development of contemporary eudaimonist virtue ethical theory. He is now working on extending that account of eudaimonism to questions about the nature and origin of the virtue of justice. He has edited a collection on justice as a virtue (Justice, Oxford University Press, 2018), and co-edited Equality and Public Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Mark is the Editor of Social Theory and Practice, and has published in numerous philosophy journals.
Roderick T. Long (A.B. Harvard 1985, Ph.D. Cornell 1992) is Professor of Philosophy at Auburn University. He serves as president of the Molinari Institute, a senior fellow of the Center for a Stateless Society, and co-founder of the Alliance of the Libertarian Left. He is the author of Reason and Value: Aristotle Versus Rand (Objectivist Center 2000), Rituals of Freedom: Libertarian Themes in Early Confucianism (Molinari Institute 2016); and Wittgenstein, Austrian Economics, and the Logic of Action (forthcoming). He is editor of the Molinari Review and co-editor of Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country? (Ashgate 2008), Social Class and State Power: Exploring an Alternative Radical Tradition (Palgrave 2018), and the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. He has published articles in journals including Social Philosophy and Policy, Utilitas, Griffith Law Review, Review of Austrian Economics, and the Review of Metaphysics. He also blogs at Austro-Athenian Empire (aaeblog.com).
JP Messina is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of New Orleans, with a joint appointment as the Assistant Director of the Urban Entrepreneurship and Policy Institute. His work focuses on foundational issues in political philosophy, including theories of property, economic justice, political legitimacy, and civil liberties (sometimes from an historical perspective). He is currently working on a book on the ethics and politics of private censorship, which examines the degree to which private parties can interfere with our basic right to freedom of expression. He has been the recipient of several grants and prizes (including a Frontiers for Innovation Scholarship and a research fellowship with the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD). Among other places, his work has been accepted for publication in Philosophers’ Imprint, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, The British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Canadian Journal of Philosophy.
Jake Monaghan is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy (research) at the University of New Orleans. He earned his PhD at the University at Buffalo. His research focuses on the political ethics and legitimacy of policing.
Ryan Muldoon is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University at Buffalo. His primary research investigates how we can turn the challenge of increasing diversity into a resource to be tapped for our mutual benefit. Specifically, he investigates how diversity can lead to more just societies, to an increase in the amount and quality of scientific production, and greater wealth. He also works on social and behavioral aspects of development policy.
Daniel Shapiro is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at West Virginia University. He is the author of numerous articles in social and political philosophy and public policy on topics such as liberalism, social insurance, welfare, free speech, free markets, drug policy, and rights theory. He is the author of Is the Welfare State Justified? (Cambridge University Press, 2007) where he argues that mainstream (nonlibertarian) views in contemporary political philosophy should support more market based alternatives to central welfare state institutions. He was one of the founding members of Bleeding Heart Libertarians
Aeon J. Skoble is Professor of Philosophy and co-coordinator of the program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Bridgewater State University. Skoble is the author of Deleting the State: An Argument about Government (Open Court, 2008) and The Essential Nozick (Fraser Institute, 2020), the editor of Reading Rasmussen and Den Uyl: Critical Essays on Norms of Liberty (Lexington Books, 2008), and co-editor of Political Philosophy: Essential Selections (Prentice-Hall, 1999) and Reality, Reason, and Rights (Lexington Books, 2011). In addition, he has frequently lectured and written for the Institute for Humane Studies, Cato, and the Foundation for Economic Education, and he is a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute. His main research includes theories of rights, the nature and justification of authority, and virtue ethics. In addition, he writes widely on the intersection of philosophy and popular culture, among other things co-editing the best-selling The Simpsons and Philosophy (Open Court, 2000) and three other books on film and television.
Hillel Steiner is a Fellow of the British Academy and Emeritus Professor of Political Philosophy in the University of Manchester. He is the author of the prize-winning monograph, An Essay on Rights (1994) and co-author, with Matthew Kramer and Nigel Simmonds, of A Debate Over Rights: Philosophical Enquiries (1998). He is co-editor, with Geraint Parry, of Freedom and Trade, 3 volumes (1998); with Peter Vallentyne, of The Origins of Left-Libertarianism: An Anthology of Historical Writings, and Left-Libertarianism and Its Critics: The Contemporary Debate (2000); and with Ian Carter and Matthew Kramer, of Freedom: A Philosophical Anthology (2007). His current research includes projects on the concept of ‘the just price’ and on the application of libertarian principles to global, and to genetic, inequalities. A revised edition of An Essay on Rights is currently in preparation.
James Stacey Taylor is Professor of Philosophy at The College of New Jersey. He is the author of Stakes and Kidneys: Why markets in human body parts are morally imperative (Ashgate, 2005/Routledge 2017), Practical Autonomy and Bioethics (Routledge 2009), Death, Posthumous Harm, and Bioethics (Routledge, 2012). He is the editor of Personal Autonomy (Cambridge 2005) and The Ethics and Metaphysics of Death (Oxford 2013). He is currently completing a book (Bloody Morality) that defends compensating plasma donors and criticises regimes that prohibit this.
Fernando Roberto Tesón is Eminent Scholar Emeritus at Florida State University College of Law. He is a leading scholar in the philosophy of international law, humanitarian intervention, global justice, and political rhetoric. He published Debating Humanitarian Intervention (Oxford University Press, 2018) [with Bas van der Vossen]; Justice at a Distance: Extending Freedom Globally (Cambridge University Press, 2015) [with Loren Lomasky]; Rational Choice and Democratic Deliberation (Cambridge University Press 2006) [with Guido Pincione]; Humanitarian Intervention: An Inquiry into Law and Morality (Transnational Publishers, 3rd ed. 2005); A Philosophy of International Law (Westview Press 1998); and dozens of articles in law, philosophy, and international relations journals and collections of essays. Before joining FSU in 2003 he taught for 17 years at Arizona State University. He has served as visiting professor at many universities in North and South America, and in Europe. He plays three musical instruments and is a competitive bridge player with Sapphire Life Master rank.
Peter Vallentyne is Florence G. Kline Professor of Philosophy at the University of Missouri. He writes on issues of liberty and equality in the theory of justice (and left-libertarianism in particular) and, more recently on enforcement rights (rights to protect primary rights). He was associate editor of Politics, Philosophy, and Economics and of Ethics; he was co-editor of Economics and Philosophy; and he is currently associate editor of the Journal of the American Philosophical Association and of Social Choice and Welfare. He edited Equality and Justice (2003, 6 volumes) and Contractarianism and Rational Choice: Essays on David Gauthier’s Morals by Agreement (1991), and he co-edited, with Hillel Steiner, The Origins of Left Libertarianism: An Anthology of Historical Writings and Left Libertarianism and Its Critics: The Contemporary Debate (2000). He has held an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship and directed a National Endowments for the Humanities project on ethics across the curriculum. He can be contacted at Vallentynep@missouri.edu.
Carson Young is an assistant professor of management at SUNY Brockport. His main teaching and research interests are in the areas of business ethics and corporate social responsibility. He is especially interested in understanding the ethical limits firms must respect when they seek competitive advantage and how business activity can contribute to making the world a better place. He has a Ph.D in business ethics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, an MA in philosophy from Georgia State University, and a BA in philosophy and economics from Swarthmore College.
A view like that (re)developed and encouraged on the Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog is needed in the blogosphere, in academia, and in our broader culture. This blog will provide that—a classical liberal view that maintains a clear and unapologetic concern for the plight of the less fortunate—at a point in time when it seems the world is finally being forced to take those concerns seriously. Importantly, we’ll do so in a way meant to encourage greater civil dialogue. We hope to provide a counter to the sound bite culture so prevalent in contemporary media; we do so in order to provide greater understanding—both to our readers and to ourselves.
We are all academics with an interest in encouraging more informed, reasoned, and civil discourse outside academia as well as inside. A majority of us here are philosophers, some are law professors, some are political scientists, and one is a business professor. Many of us take the original classical liberals—thinkers like John Locke, Adam Smith, and John Stuart Mill—as intellectual heroes. Some also favor Aristotle or Kant. On our pages, you might read about those famous denizens of the history of thought. You might also read about some unfortunately lesser known thinkers—Frédéric Bastiat and Voltairine de Cleyre, for examples. And you may read about difficult issues in academic debates. Most of what you’re likely to see on these pages, though, will be comments about social, legal, moral, and political issues in our society. You are likely to encounter arguments for specific views that one or more of us think follow from our classical liberal commitments. We may also argue with each other about these.
Our hopes for the blog are varied. They include showcasing the attractiveness of dynamic markets and anti-authoritarian solutions to contemporary problems, how these are often the best hope for those concerned with issues of deprivation, exclusion, and subordination, and how, far too often, government solutions are more pretense than substance. We are all concerned to show how freedom (we may disagree about what that is) goes hand in hand with prosperity for all. Putting that differently, we all recognize the value of markets and social justice on some understanding that recognizes (minimally) the basic moral equality of all human adults. Within that framework, our opinions are likely to vary considerably.
We hope to appeal to those who are curious about moral, legal, political, and social thought. While we all have our own existing biases, we hope to be able to bracket our prior beliefs and argue from acceptable premises to important conclusions—all with respectful and reasoned discussion. No doubt you will sometimes disagree with us. We hope to remain intellectually honest, open-minded, and charitable—and to show the value of those virtues.
Our Basic Rules:
1. We will likely criticize the views of others and/or their work, but when we do, we will remain civil.
2. Our default will be not to have comments on posts, but we may each sometimes invite comments. If we do, we won’t delete any.
3. Trolls and obnoxious commenters can be banned, but only by a majority vote of the group.
4. We won’t have posts that are mere links to something posted elsewhere. We might post a link to something someone else wrote, along with commentary about it. We may also have posts that serve to “round-up” links to several things others have written that we think you would be interested in.
5. We’ll try to space out posts, time wise.