The Radical Classical Liberals:

Sarah Burns is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Humane Studies, a fellow at the Quincy Institute and an Associate Professor of Political Science at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Her research examines the process of constitutional design in the United States using Montesquieu’s understanding of the separation of powers to develop a model for salutary institutions. She demonstrates how the branches have evolved to forgo the struggle created by the Montesquieuan system, allowing the executive branch to assert broad unilaterally powers, instead. She has written on war powers, American foreign policy, democratic peace theory, elections, and Montesquieu’s constitutionalism. In her book, The Politics of War Powers, she demonstrates how the Constitution purposely locks the president and legislature in a battle for control over military affairs. As this has broken down over time, the United States increasingly produces and executes reactive policy untethered to grand strategy. Her current book project examines American efforts to democratize other states due to a longstanding adherence to the concept of Democratic Peace Theory.

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 Director of the 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.  He is especially interested in using that to help improve civil discourse. (CV and papers available at https://philpeople.org/profiles/andrew-jason-cohen.)

Abigail R Hall is an Associate Professor of Economics at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. She is an affiliated scholar with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and Foundation for Economic Education. She is a Senior Fellow at the Pegasus Institute and a Research Fellow with the Independent Institute. Hall is the coauthor of Manufacturing Militarism: U.S. Government Propaganda in The War On Terror and Tyranny Comes Home: The Domestic Fate of U.S. Militarism, both with Stanford University Press. Her broader research interests include political economy, defense and peace economics, public choice, and market process economics.  

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.

Connor K. Kianpour is a philosophy PhD candidate at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He primarily writes about the rights of, and our duties to, dependents (e.g. children, the disabled, and nonhuman animals) in a free society. He also takes an interest in the philosophy and ethics of humor. His work has been published in Environmental Values, HEC Forum, and Politics and Animals, among other venues. You can keep up to date with his work at his personal website: www.connorkianpour.com

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.

Nahshon Perez is an associate professor of political studies at Bar Ilan University. His fields of research include religion-state relations and models, toleration, pluralism, intergenerational justice and the methodology of political theory. His publications include: Governing the Sacred: Political Toleration in Five Contested Sacred Sites (Oxford, 2020; with Y. Jobani); Women of the wall: Navigating religion in sacred sites (Oxford, 2017; with Y. Jobani); Freedom from past injustices: a critical evaluation of claims for inter-generational reparations (Edinburgh, 2012);.and articles in journals such as the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence; the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy; Journal of Social Philosophy, the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, Social Theory and Practice and others. His work was or is supported by the EU Marie Curie Reintegration Grant and grants from the Israel Science Foundation. He is currently at work on a single-authored book manuscript, titled Worldly Politics and Divine Institutions: a Casuistic Analysis of the Contemporary Entanglement of Faith and Government, under contract with Oxford University Press

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.

Kyle Swan (https://www.csus.edu/faculty/s/kyle.swan/) is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Practical and Professional Ethics at California State University, Sacramento. His work addresses a broad range of issues in ethics and liberal political theory, including topics at the intersection of philosophy, politics and economics, and has appeared in places like Philosophical Studies, Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, History of Political Thought, and Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.

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.

Fabian Wendt is an Assistant Professor in the Kellogg Center for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech. He earned his PhD in philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, and is the author of Authority (Polity 2018) and Compromise, Peace and Public Justification: Political Morality beyond Justice (Palgrave Macmillan 2016). His articles have been published in venues such as Philosophical StudiesOxford Studies in Political Philosophy, and Politics, Philosophy & Economics.

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.

Collective Introduction:

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.

Note: RCL is an Amazon Affiliate. We receive a small commission if you purchase from Amazon when a link on our pages leads you there. We do not make a profit from this program. The commission is used to offset the cost of maintaining and improving the blog; any excess is donated to charity.

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.

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