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.

 

Rational Choice and Democratic Deliberation: A Theory of Discourse Failure

Rational Choice and Democratic Deliberation: A Theory of Discourse Failure

Guido Pincione and Fernando R. Tesón
2006
In public political deliberation, people will err and lie in accordance with definite patterns. Such discourse failure results from behavior that is both instrumentally and epistemically rational. The deliberative practices of a liberal democracy (let alone repressive or non-democratic societies) cannot be improved so as to overcome the tendency for rational citizens to believe and say things at odds with reliable propositions of social science. The theory has several corollaries. One is that much contemporary political philosophy can be seen as an unsuccessful attempt to vindicate, on symbolic and moral grounds, the forms that discourse failure take on in public political deliberation. Another is that deliberative practices cannot be rescued even on non-epistemic grounds, such as social peace, impartiality, participation, and equality. To alleviate discourse failure, this 2006 book proposes to reduce the scope of majoritarian politics and enlarge markets.
The Elements of Justice

The Elements of Justice

David Schmidtz
2006
What is justice? Questions of justice are questions about what people are due, but what that means in practice depends on context. Depending on context, the formal question of what people are due is answered by principles of desert, reciprocity, equality, or need. Justice, thus, is a constellation of elements that exhibit a degree of integration and unity, but the integrity of justice is limited, in a way that is akin to the integrity of a neighborhood rather than that of a building. A theory of justice is a map of that neighborhood.
Perfectionism and Neutrality: Essays in Liberal Theory

Perfectionism and Neutrality: Essays in Liberal Theory

Steven Wall with George Klosko (Editors)
2003
Over the past twenty years, the debate between neutrality and perfectionism has been at the center of political philosophy. Now Perfectionism and Neutrality: Essays in Liberal Theory brings together classic papers and new ideas on both sides of the discussion. Editors George Klosko and Steven Wall provide a substantive introduction to the history and theories of perfectionism and neutrality, expertly contextualizing the essays and making the collection accessible to everyone interested in the interaction between morals and the state
Philosophy and Democracy: An Anthology

Philosophy and Democracy: An Anthology

Tom Christiano (Editor)
2003
This volume collects some of the leading essays in contemporary democratic theory published in the past thirty years. The anthology presents the work of a select group of contributors (including Peter Singer, Joshua Cohen, Ronald Dworkin, Richard Arneson, and others) and covers many foundational approaches defended by scholars from a range of different disciplines. The chapters address many issues that are central to philosophical reflections on democracy, such as questions pertaining to deliberative and economic approaches, as well as to such topics as intrinsic fairness, the role of equality in relation to minority groups, and the limits of democracy. Covering representative work in economics, political science, legal theory, and philosophy, this comprehensive volume is suited to courses in political theory and political philosophy.
Robert Nozick

Robert Nozick

David Schmidtz (Editor)
2002
This introductory volume is devoted to Robert Nozick, one of the dominant philosophical thinkers of the current age. Nozick's famous book, Anarchy, State and Utopia (1974), presents the classic defense of the libertarian view that only a minimal state is just. He has made significant contributions to such areas as rational choice theory, ethics, epistemology and philosophy of mind. In addition to philosophers, the book will be of particular interest to professionals and students in political science, law, economics, sociology and psychology.
Liberalism Perfectionism and Restraint

Liberalism, Perfectionism and Restraint

Steven Wall
1998
Liberalism is the dominant political philosophy of our times. The main purpose of this book is to defend a "perfectionist" account of liberalism, one that holds that the state should promote the flourishing of all who are subject to its power, even when doing so requires it to take sides between controversial views of the good life. This book provides a comprehensive and up to date discussion of liberalism and perfectionism and deals with some of the most fundamental issues in contemporary liberal political philosophy.
Modern Moral and Political Philosophy

Modern Moral and Political Philosophy

Tom Christiano with Robert C. Cummins (Editors)
1998
This is the first anthology to include the major moral and political works of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Reid, Rousseau, and Kant in a single volume.
Social Welfare and Individual Responsibility: For and Against

Social Welfare and Individual Responsibility: For and Against

David Schmidtz and Robert E. Goodin
1998
The issue of social welfare and individual responsibility has become a topic of international public debate in recent years as politicians around the world now question the legitimacy of state-funded welfare programs. David Schmidtz and Robert Goodin debate the ethical merits of individual versus collective responsibility for welfare. David Schmidtz argues that social welfare policy should prepare people for responsible adulthood rather than try to make that unnecessary. Robert Goodin argues against the individualization of welfare policy and expounds the virtues of collective responsibility.
The Rule of The Many: Fundamental Issues in Democratic Theory

The Rule of The Many: Fundamental Issues in Democratic Theory

Tom Christiano
1996
There is no problem more crucial to contemporary political thought than the status of democracy, its role, and its problems in the contemporary world. In this survey of democratic theory, Thomas Christiano introduces the reader to the principles underlying democracy and to the problems involved in applying these principles to real life situations. Beginning with the simple, democratically inspired presumption that the interests of all citizens are to be treated equally, Christiano argues that the implications of such a minimal commitment clarify the nature of democracy and what must be demanded of democratic institutions. He argues that it is the collision of this demand for equality with the fact of pluralism of interests that determines how democratic institutions ought to be designed. This strong sense of reality will be welcomed by those interested in practical questions of transition in newly democratizing states. Christiano combines a broad coverage of important positions taken by others with the exposition of his own ideas, allowing his text to appeal to a wide range of readers, from introductory students to experienced scholars. Clear, accessible, and often elegant, The Rule of the Many is a splendid introduction to democratic theory, one that will take its place as both an important scholarly contribution and as an effective text.