Ethics (foundations and moral theory), Political Philosophy
Awarded ACLS's Burkhardt fellowship in 2008, for study (2009-10) at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University. Visiting Professor at NYU, Department of Philosophy, in fall of 2013. Visiting Scholar at ANU summer 2016.
My most recent book, with finance and law ace Robert Hockett (Cornell law), is Money from Nothing: Why We Should Learn to Stop Worrying About Debt and Love the Federal Reserve
(Melville House Press 2020). I also have several new academic papers on money and related topics, which you can find below.
In political philosophy, I've written a book on fairness in the global economy, from a social contract perspective (Fairness in Practice: A Social Contract for a Global Economy
, OUP 2012). I've also written about John Rawls's constructive method, its neglected realist and interpretive aspects, and its application to social structures within and across major domestic institutions (such as international trade).
I'm working on two academic books on money. A first book is on money's role and management in the global economy, especially in view of central and public banking. This extends my practice-based analysis in _Fairness In Practice_ to associative obligations generated by the state system and their upshot for public finance, basic income and social insurance, and climate adaptation. A second book is on money's social and normative foundations, debt and morality ("what we owe each other"), and why moral "accountability" can be seen as a sort of debt-accounting that organizes our personal, social, and political relationships.
In moral theory I have an ongoing interest in contractualism, especially in view of risk.
Also in ethics I work on rationalism and the foundations of moral and practical judgment, with particular interest in constructivism (what it is, how it might explain objectivity, and whether it could provide a foundational theory). Having now written about surfing for a general audience (see below), I'm increasingly interested in the exercise of skill, embodiment, attunement and what they mean for practical reason and the foundations of value.
I plan to set out my grand "low rationalist" vision in several books:
1. Money In Practice: Fair Finance in a Global Economy
2. The Moral Ledger: Debt, Money, Polity
3. The Talent of Reason: Embodied Reasoning, Attunement, and the Exercise of Skill
A book of philosophical autobiography about my misadventures in Sumatra is the works, too. Academic PublicationsFairness in Practice: A Social Contract for a Global Economy
, New York: Oxford University Press, 2012
“What the Trade Pioneers Missed: Money,” Journal of Moral and Political Philosophy, 9, no 1, 2022
“Rawls, Lerner, and the Tax and Spend Booby-Trap: What Happened to Monetary Policy?,” A Theory of Justice at 50, ed. Paul Wiethman, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming
“Money as a Currency of Justice,” Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues, forthcoming
“Money in the Social Contract,” The Philosophy of Money and Finance, eds. Joakim Sandburg and Lisa Warenski, Oxford University Press, forthcoming
"Rethinking Money and Trade," The Palgrave Handbook of International Political Theory, ed. David Riedy, forthcoming
"Revolutions in Work: Green Growth, De-growth, A-growth,” Board Studies: The Political Ontology of Surfing and Skateboarding, eds. Kristin Lawler, David Cline, and Mike Roberts (San Diego State University Press), forthcoming
"Preparing for Mass Unemployment: Precautionary Basic Income," ed. Matthew Liao, Oxford University Press, 2020
"Why We Must Lift the Resource Curse," Beyond Blood Oil, eds. Laurie Shrage and Naomi Zack, Rowman and Littlefield, 2018
"Sovereignty and Associative Obligations," Sovereignty and the New Executive, eds. Claire Finkelstein and Sharon Lloyd, Oxford University Press, 2018
"Constructivism, Intuitionism, Ecumenism," Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice, ed. Serena Olsaretti, 2018
"Investor Rights as Nonsense -- On Stilts," Just Financial Markets?, ed. Lisa Herzog, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017
"Fortune and Fairness in Global Economic Life," Journal of Moral Philosophy, 14, no 3, 2017
"How Cynical Can Ideal Theory Be?," Journal of International Political Theory, 12, no 2, June 2016:118-133
"Fairness in Trade," for Global Political Theory Today, eds. David Held and Pietro Maffettone, Polity Press, 2016
"The Distinctive Significance of Systemic Risk," Ratio Juris, 30, no 3 2016
"How To Construct Global Justice," San Diego Law Review, 52/1013, Fall 2015
“A Theory of Fairness in Trade,” Moral Philosophy and Politics, 1, no 2, 2014. A special issue on fairness in trade, guest edited by David Miller.
“Replies to Critics,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 44, no 2, March 2014: 286-304. A special issue on Fairness in Practice, with discussions by Christian Barry, Charles Beitz, A.J. Julius, and Kristi Olson. At: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/qQSpWUKPzvqUKv5zgAqS/full
"Why Practices?" Raison Politiques, 51, Summer 2013
"Contractualism's (Not So) Slippery Slope," Legal Theory, 18, no 03, 2012: 263-292. At: http://journals.cambridge.org/repo_A867FcA4
"Constructing Protagorean Objectivity," Constructivism in Practical Philosophy, eds. James Lenman and Yonatan Shemmer, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012
"Political Constructivism," Blackwell Companion to Rawls, eds. David Reidy and Jon Mandle, Wiley-Blackwell, 2013
"Constructivism, Moral," International Encyclopedia of Ethics, ed. Hugh LaFollette, Blackwell
"Contractualism and Political Liberalism," Routledge Companion to Social and Political Philosophy, eds. Gerald Gaus and Fred D’Agostino, New York: Taylor and Francis, 2013
"Moral Assurance Problems in Global Context," Hobbes Today: Insights for the 21st Century, ed. Sharon Lloyd, Cambridge University Press, 2012
"The Significance of Distribution," Reasons and Recognition: Essays on the Philosophy of T. M. Scanlon, eds. R. Jay Wallace, Rahul Kumar, and Samuel Freeman, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011
"Global Economic Fairness: Internal Principles," Global Justice and International Economic Law: Opportunities and Challenges, Cambridge University Press, 2012
"Rawlsian Justice in a Common Globe," Sustainability and Security within Liberal Societies, eds. Stephen Gough and Andrew Stables, New York: Routledge, 2008
"Legal and Other Governance In Second Person Perspective," Loyola Law Review, 40, no 2, 2006
"Equality in a Realistic Utopia," Social Theory and Practice, 32, No 4, 2006
"Constructivism about Practical Reasons," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 74 no 2, 2007
"Constructing Justice for Existing Practice: Rawls and the Status Quo," Philosophy and Public Affairs, 33 no 3, 2005
"The Objectivity of Values: Invariance without Explanation," The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 44 no 4, 2006
"Distributive Justice without Sovereign Rule: The Case of Trade," Social Theory and Practice, 31 no 4, 2005
“Rights and Circularity in Scanlon’s Contractualism,” Journal of Moral Philosophy, 1.3, 2004: 369-377
“Power in Social Organization as the Subject of Justice,” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 86, 2005: 25-49 Work in Progress
The Moral Necessity of Climate Efficiency
“Fragmentation and Fairness in Global Economic Governance,” Justice in Global
Economic Governance, eds. Axel Berger, Clara Brandi, Eszter Kollar
"Money, Recognition, and the Outer Limits of Obliviousness"
“I Owe You”
"The Fairness Argument for International Money"
"Money as Promise: Innes and the 'Fundamental Nature of a Financial Transaction'"Further Projects (some in gestation stage)
Republican Money and Basic Income
You Owe Me One: Accounting and Accountability
"Taxation" by Monetary Policy: Distribution for Lovers of Liberty
How Money Corrupts
Should Basic Income Replace Social Insurance?Academic Miscellany
"APA Comments on Leif Wenar's Blood Oil"
"Sparing the Poor: APA Comments for Darrel Moellendorf."
"Multi-Functionalism about Human Rights: APA Comments for James Nickel."
"Multi-Functionalism about Human Rights: APA Comments for Charles Beitz."
"Deflating Fact-Insensitivity"Other Very (Very) Important ThingsMoney from Nothing: Why We Should Learn to Stop Worrying About Debt and Love the Federal Reserve
, with Robert Hockett (Melville House Press, 2020)Surfing with Sartre: An Aquatic Inquiry Into a Life of Meaning
by Doubleday/Penguin Random House, 2017. Also by Lemniscaat (Netherlands), New Century Publishing (Taiwan), and Pegasus (Turkey). A treatise on what surfer know-how says about questions for the ages (about freedom, control, flow, happiness, being, transcendence, society, the meaning of life) and why all this means we must actually do something about climate change, namely: work less and go surfing instead, in a shorter workweek and more efficient style of capitalism. Assholes: A Theory
a bestseller by Doubleday, USA, 2012. Also by Brealey (UK/commonwealth), Rizzoli (Italy), Riemann (Germany), Psichogios (Greece), Chungrim (South Korea), Citic (China), Tanapaev (Estonia), Pegasus (Turkey), and Port - excerpt (Russia) Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump
by Doubleday/Penguin Random House, 2016. Also by Random House Verlagsgruppe (Germany), Rizzoli (Italy), Malpaso (Spain), Korea Economic & Business Daily (Korea), Rock-Paper-Scissors (China). An essay on the appeal and the danger of one conspicuous figure in contemporary public life, with lessons from the social contract tradition of Hobbes and Rousseau -- or, why America most certainly should not play Republic Roulette. Assholes: A Theory
-- a documentary by John Walker, featuring John Cleese, yours truly, and many others (available soon...) http://johnwalkerproductions.com/portfolio/assholes/
"On the Philosophical Interest and Surprising Significance of the Asshole," Harvard Review of Philosophy, Vol XXIII, 2016
"Why Nothing Exists: A Rigorous Demonstration" In Opción and in Suburbano (both in Spanish)
Blog: On Assholes.com
Charity: Help A Village With.Us