Margaret P. Gilbert

Abraham I. Melden Chair in Moral Philosophy, Philosophy
School of Humanities

Ph.D., Oxford University, Philosophy

A.B., Cambridge University, Classics and Philosophy

Fax: (949) 824-6520

University of California, Irvine
94 Humanities Instructional Building
Mail Code: 4555
Irvine, CA 92697

picture of Margaret P. Gilbert

Philosophy of social phenomena; related areas of: ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy of law, action theory, epistemology; the theory of rational choice
I have been the recipient of fellowships for research from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies, and held visiting positions at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, and King's College London, among other academic institutions.
My monograph On Social Facts (1989)was an initial presentation of my plural subject theory --- the theory that paradigmatic social phenomena are, in my technical terminology, plural subject phenomena founded in joint commitments. This theory is linked by way of contrast and comparison with those of Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Georg Simmel, founders of the discipline of sociology. Social phenomena discussed at length in On Social Facts include acting together, social groups, group languages, collective belief, and social convention.

As it turns out, plural subject theory is highly germane to central concerns of ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of law. Such concerns are an important part of my most recent and my current research.

My monograph A Theory of Political Obligation (2006; 2008)applies my theory of social groups to a longstanding problem in political philosophy---the problem of political obligation---while clarifying and amplifying the theory in question.

My most recent essay collection Joint Commitment (2013) contains eighteen essays written within the past ten years or so. Among the topics treated are: promises and agreements, marital love, shared values, patriotism, and the nature of command authority.

I am currently completing a monograph on rights, under contract with Oxford University Press, Oxford. Its working title is Rights and Demands: A Foundational Inquiry.
Publications BOOKS [sole author]

1. On Social Facts (1989) Routledge: New York (in the series International Library of Philosophy) (hardback); Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1992 (hardback and paperback).

2. Living Together: Rationality, Sociality, and Obligation (1996) Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, MD (hardback and paperback).

3. Sociality and Responsibility: New Essays in Plural Subject Theory (2000) Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, MD (hardback and paperback).

4. Marcher Ensemble: Essais sur les Fondements des Phenomenes Collectifs (in French) (2003), Presses Universitaires de France: Paris, France (paperback).

5. A Theory of Political Obligation: Membership, Commitment, and the Bonds of Society (2006), Oxford University Press: Oxford (hardback); (2008) paperback, with some revisions).

6. Joint Commitment: How We Make the Social World (2013), Oxford University Press: New York (hardback); (2015) paperback.

7. Il Noi Collettivo: Impegno Coniunto e Mondo Sociale (in Italian) (2015) Raffaele-Cortina (paperback).
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Last updated 05/12/2017