Research

A core tenet of the Freedom Center is to support research and discussion related to ideals of freedom, responsibility, and their realization in institutional form. To this end, the Center supports three journals and their corresponding workshops.

Journals

Faculty Publications

Our faculty are able to spend more time on research and publish more than standard faculty positions because of the Freedom Center's support and focus on research.

 

Evolution of Moral Progress cover

The Evolution of Moral Progress

Allen Buchanan & Russell Powell
2019
In The Evolution of Moral Progress, Allen Buchanan and Russell Powell resurrect the project of explaining moral progress. They avoid the errors of earlier attempts by drawing on a wide range of disciplines including moral and political philosophy, evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology, anthropology, history, and sociology. Their focus is on one especially important type of moral progress: gains in inclusivity. They develop a framework to explain progress in inclusivity to also illuminate moral regression--the return to exclusivist and "tribalistic" moral beliefs and attitudes. Buchanan and Powell argue those tribalistic moral responses are not hard-wired by evolution in human nature. Rather, human beings have an evolved "adaptively plastic" capacity for both inclusion and exclusion, depending on environmental conditions. Moral progress in the dimension of inclusivity is possible, but only to the extent that human beings can create environments conducive to extending moral standing to all human beings and even to some animals. Buchanan and Powell take biological evolution seriously, but with a critical eye, while simultaneously recognizing the crucial role of culture in creating environments in which moral progress can occur. The book avoids both biological and cultural determinism. Unlike earlier theories of moral progress, their theory provides a naturalistic account that is grounded in the best empirical work, and unlike earlier theories it does not present moral progress as inevitable or as occurring in definite stages; but rather it recognizes the highly contingent and fragile character of moral improvement.
Environmental Ethics: What Really Matters, What Really Works

Environmental Ethics: What Really Matters, What Really Works, 3rd Edition

David Schmidtz and Danny Shahar, eds
2018
"Environmental Ethics is the highest quality textbook/collection for foundational environmental ethics courses available. It has all of the foundational views/essays that are core to the discipline, while also offering a good breadth of topical coverage on issues relevant to anyone living on planet earth!"--Lauren Hartzell Nichols, University of Washington
Institutionalizing the Just War cover

Institutionalizing the Just War

Allen Buchanan
2018
Institutionalizing the Just War offers a new approach to thinking about the ethics of large-scale armed conflict. Allen Buchanan takes a unique approach to just war theory, arguing that theories that are content with articulating abstract moral norms specifying right acts of war-making, provide too little guidance for responding to the real world moral problems of war. Buchanan here instead takes an institutional approach, combining moral analysis with data on how institutions are designed, and providing concrete proposals for morally progressive innovations at the institutional level. Buchanan's institutional approach in this book - which is based on the revision of previously published essays -- is singular and will be of great interest not just to scholars of just war theory, but anyone interested in the morality of war within political science, political philosophy, philosophy of international law, and public policy.
On the Soul: and Other Psychological Works

On the Soul: and Other Psychological Works

Aristotle, translated by Fred D. Miller Jr.
2018
This new translation of De Anima (On the Soul) brings together all of Aristotle's extant and complementary psychological works, and adds as a supplement ancient testimony concerning his lost writings dealing with the soul. The introduction by Fred D. Miller, Jr. explains the central place of the soul in Aristotle's natural science, the unifying themes of his psychological theory, and his continuing relevance for modern philosophy and psychology.
Oxford Handbook of Freedom

Oxford Handbook of Freedom

David Schmidtz and Carmen Pavel (editors)
2018
"We speak of being 'free' to speak our minds, free to go to college, free to move about; we can be cancer-free, debt-free, worry-free, or free from doubt. The concept of freedom (and relatedly the notion of liberty) is ubiquitous but not everyone agrees what the term means, and the philosophical analysis of freedom that has grown over the last two decades has revealed it to be a complex notion whose meaning is dependent on the context. The Oxford Handbook of Freedom will crystallize this work and craft the first wide-ranging analysis of freedom in all its dimensions: legal, cultural, religious, economic, political, and psychological. This volume includes 28 new essays by well regarded philosophers, as well some historians and political theorists, in order to reflect the breadth of the topic.
Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 4

Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 4

Edited by David Sobel, Peter Vallentyne, and Steven Wall
2018
OSPP aims to publish some of the best contemporary work in political philosophy and these closely related subfields. This volume features eight papers that address a range of central topics and represent cutting edge work in the field. The three parts of the volume explore legitimacy, egalitarianism, and liberty and coercion.
Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 3

Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 3

Steven Wall with David Sobel and Peter Vallentyne (Editors)
2017
This is the third volume of Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy. This volume addresses a range of central topics and represent cutting edge work in the field. The first two parts of the volume deal with equality and justice and state legitimacy, while the final part looks at social issues that are not easily understood in terms of personal morality, yet which need not centrally involve the state.
Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 2

Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 2

Steven Wall with David Sobel and Peter Vallentyne (Editors)
2016
This is the second volume of Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy. This volume features eight papers and an introduction. The papers address a range of central topics and represent cutting edge work in the field. They are grouped into three main themes: ideal theory, the moral assessment of states, and issues in social relations.
Philosophy: Environmental Ethics

Philosophy: Environmental Ethics

David Schmidtz
2016
Philosophy: Environmental Ethics is composed of twelve chapters covering such topics as population, novel ecosystem, geoengineering, climate change, animal ethics, conciliation, and extinction. The use of film, literature, art, case studies, and other disciplines or situations/events provide illustrations of human experiences which work as gateways to questions philosophers try to address. Chapters are written by eminent scholars, are peer-reviewed, and offer bibliographies to encourage further exploration.
Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 1

Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 1

Steven Wall with David Sobel and Peter Vallentyne (Editors)
2015
This is the inaugural volume of Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy. Since its revival in the 1970s political philosophy has been a vibrant field in philosophy, one that intersects with jurisprudence, normative economics, political theory in political science departments, and just war theory. OSPP aims to publish some of the best contemporary work in political philosophy and these closely related subfields. This first volume features eleven papers and an introduction. The papers address a range of central topics and represent cutting edge work in the field. They are grouped into four main themes: democracy, political liberalism and public reason, rights and duties, and method.