• Introduction: Philosophers and Public Policy
    In David Boonin, Katrina L. Sifferd, Tyler K. Fagan, Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Michael Huemer, Daniel Wodak, Derk Pereboom, Stephen J. Morse, Sarah Tyson, Mark Zelcer, Garrett VanPelt, Devin Casey, Philip E. Devine, David K. Chan, Maarten Boudry, Christopher Freiman, Hrishikesh Joshi, Shelley Wilcox, Jason Brennan, Eric Wiland, Ryan Muldoon, Mark Alfano, Philip Robichaud, Kevin Timpe, David Livingstone Smith, Francis J. Beckwith, Dan Hooley, Russell Blackford, John Corvino, Corey McCall, Dan Demetriou, Ajume Wingo, Michael Shermer, Ole Martin Moen, Aksel Braanen Sterri, Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Jeppe von Platz, John Thrasher, Mary Hawkesworth, William MacAskill, Daniel Halliday, Janine O’Flynn, Yoaav Isaacs, Jason Iuliano, Claire Pickard, Arvin M. Gouw, Tina Rulli, Justin Caouette, Allen Habib, Brian D. Earp, Andrew Vierra, Subrena E. Smith, Danielle M. Wenner, Lisa Diependaele, Sigrid Sterckx, G. Owen Schaefer, Markus K. Labude, Harisan Unais Nasir, Udo Schuklenk, Benjamin Zolf & Woolwine (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy, Springer Verlag. pp. 1-8. 2018.
    This chapter provides an introduction to the Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy. It begins by discussing the many ways that philosophical reasoning can fruitfully be brought to bear on matters of public policy, providing examples in each case that are drawn from the volume. This includes different kinds of contributions philosophers can make and different kinds of methods they can use when making them. The chapter then provides a sequential overview of all the entries in the volum…Read more
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    Dead Wrong: The Ethics of Posthumous Harm
    Oxford University Press. 2019.
    It is possible for an act to wrongfully harm a person, even if that person is dead. David Boonin explains the puzzle of posthumous harm and examines its ethical implications for such issues as posthumous organ removal, posthumous publication of private documents, damage to graves, and posthumous punishment.
  •  3
    Most arguments for or against abortion focus on one question: is the fetus a person? In this provocative and important book, David Boonin defends the claim that even if the fetus is a person with the same right to life you and I have, abortion should still be legal, and most current restrictions on abortion should be abolished.
  •  1
    Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy (edited book)
    Palgrave Macmillan. 2018.
  • Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy (edited book)
    Palgrave. forthcoming.
  • Thomas Hobbes and the Science of Moral Virtue
    Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 50 (3): 521-522. 1996.
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    The Vegetarian Savage: Rousseau’s Critique of Meat Eating
    Environmental Ethics 15 (1): 75-84. 1993.
    Contemporary defenders of philosophical vegetarianism are too often unaware of their historical predecessors. In this paper, I contribute to the rectification of this neglect by focusing on the case of Rousseau. In part one, I identify and articulate an argument against meat eating that is implicitly present in Rousseau’s writings, although it is never explicitly developed. In part two, I consider and respond to two objections that might be made to the claim that this argument should be attribut…Read more
  •  3
    Thomas Hobbes and the Science of Moral Virtue
    Cambridge University Press. 1994.
    In Leviathan Thomas Hobbes defines moral philosophy as 'the science of Virtue and Vice', yet few modern readers take this description seriously. Moreover, it is typically assumed that Hobbes' ethical views are unrelated to his views of science. Influential modern interpreters have portrayed Hobbes as either an amoralist, or a moral contractarian, or a rule egoist, or a divine command theorist. David Boonin-Vail challenges all these assumptions and presents a new, and very unorthodox, interpretat…Read more
  •  11
  • Motions of the Mind: Thomas Hobbes and the Science of Moral Virtue
    Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. 1992.
    Dissatisfied with the narrow choice between deontological and consequentialist moral theories, a number of contemporary philosophers have urged that we instead turn to the example of Aristotle and develop an ethics of virtue. This dissertation seeks to affirm the merits of such an approach, but argues that a more profitable model can be found in the unlikely figure of Thomas Hobbes. ;One task of the dissertation is to establish that Hobbes is, in fact, best understood as a sort of virtue ethicis…Read more
  •  5
    A sheep in Wolf's clothing
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 74 (3): 175-195. 1993.
  •  45
    Thomas Hobbes and the Science of Moral Virtue
    Philosophical Quarterly 46 (185): 550. 1996.
    In Leviathan Thomas Hobbes defines moral philosophy as 'the science of Virtue and Vice', yet few modern readers take this description seriously. Moreover, it is typically assumed that Hobbes' ethical views are unrelated to his views of science. Influential modern interpreters have portrayed Hobbes as either an amoralist, or a moral contractarian, or a rule egoist, or a divine command theorist. David Boonin-Vail challenges all these assumptions and presents a new, and very unorthodox, interpretat…Read more
  •  42
    The Vegetarian Savage
    Environmental Ethics 15 (1): 75-84. 1993.
    Contemporary defenders of philosophical vegetarianism are too often unaware of their historical predecessors. In this paper, I contribute to the rectification of this neglect by focusing on the case of Rousseau. In part one, I identify and articulate an argument against meat eating that is implicitly present in Rousseau’s writings, although it is never explicitly developed. In part two, I consider and respond to two objections that might be made to the claim that this argument should be attribut…Read more
  •  29
    Each of these two volumes grew out of what was originially intended to be a single chapter in a larger study of seventeenth-century liberalism. Although there is a strong degree of stylistic and methodological continuity between the two, neither book presupposes any familiarity with the other. I will therefore consider them separately.
  •  71
    Abortion and the Ways We Value Human Life
    Social Theory and Practice 26 (2): 347-352. 2000.
  •  9
    David Boonin presents a new account of the non-identity problem: a puzzle about our obligations to people who do not yet exist. He provides a critical survey of solutions to the problem that have been proposed, and concludes by developing an unorthodox alternative solution, one that differs fundamentally from virtually every other approach.
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  •  97
    In this book, philosopher David Boonin attempts to answer the moral questions raised by five important and widely contested racial practices: slave reparations, affirmative action, hate speech restrictions, hate crime laws and racial profiling. Arguing from premises that virtually everyone on both sides of the debates over these issues already accepts, Boonin arrives at an unusual and unorthodox set of conclusions, one that is neither liberal nor conservative, color conscious nor color blind. De…Read more
  •  14
    Each of these two volumes grew out of what was originially intended to be a single chapter in a larger study of seventeenth-century liberalism. Although there is a strong degree of stylistic and methodological continuity between the two, neither book presupposes any familiarity with the other. I will therefore consider them separately.
  •  20
    A Defense of Abortion
    Cambridge University Press. 2002.
    David Boonin has written the most thorough and detailed case for the moral permissibility of abortion yet published. Critically examining a wide range of arguments that attempt to prove that every human fetus has a right to life, he shows that each of these arguments fails on its own terms. He then explains how even if the fetus does have a right to life, abortion can still be shown to be morally permissible on the critique of abortion's own terms. Finally he considers several pro-life arguments…Read more
  •  10
    The Problem of Punishment
    Cambridge University Press. 2008.
    In this book, David Boonin examines the problem of punishment, and particularly the problem of explaining why it is morally permissible for the state to treat those who break the law in ways that would be wrong to treat those who do not? Boonin argues that there is no satisfactory solution to this problem and that the practice of legal punishment should therefore be abolished. Providing a detailed account of the nature of punishment and the problems that it generates, he offers a comprehensive a…Read more