University of Oklahoma
George Mason University
  • University of Oklahoma
    Department of Philosophy
    Retired faculty
  • George Mason University
    Mercatus Center
    Professor (Part-time)
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
Graduate Department of Philosophy
PhD, 1986
Norman, Oklahoma, United States of America
  •  962
    Self-Interest and Virtue*: NEERA K. BADHWAR
    Social Philosophy and Policy 14 (1): 226-263. 1997.
    The Aristotelian view that the moral virtues–the virtues of character informed by practical wisdom–are essential to an individual's happiness, and are thus in an individual's self-interest, has been little discussed outside of purely scholarly contexts. With a few exceptions, contemporary philosophers have tended to be suspicious of Aristotle's claims about human nature and the nature of rationality and happiness. But recent scholarship has offered an interpretation of the basic elements of Aris…Read more
  •  329
    Altruism Versus Self-Interest: Sometimes a False Dichotomy
    Social Philosophy and Policy 10 (1): 90-117. 1993.
    In the moral philosophy of the last two centuries, altruism of one kind or another has typically been regarded as identical with moral concern. When self-regarding duties have been recognized, motivation by duty has been sharply distinguished from motivation by self-interest. I think this view is wrong: self-interest can be the motive of a moral act. My chief concern is to argue that self-interested action -- i.e., action motivated by rational self-interest -- can be moral, but the data I use to…Read more
  •  293
    Love
    In LaFollette H. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Practical Ethics, Oxford University Press. pp. 42. 2003.
    "[L]ove is not merely a contributor - one among others - to meaningful life. In its own way it may underlie all other forms of meaning....by its very nature love is the principal means by which creatures like us seek affective relations to persons, things, or ideals that have value and importance for us. I. The Look of Love.
  •  227
    The Milgram Experiments, Learned Helplessness, and Character Traits
    The Journal of Ethics 13 (2-3): 257-289. 2009.
    The Milgram and other situationist experiments support the real-life evidence that most of us are highly akratic and heteronomous, and that Aristototelian virtue is not global. Indeed, like global theoretical knowledge, global virtue is psychologically impossible because it requires too much of finite human beings with finite powers in a finite life; virtue can only be domain-specific. But unlike local, situation-specific virtues, domain-specific virtues entail some general understanding of what…Read more
  •  218
    I take friendship to be a practical and emotional relationship marked by mutual and (more-or-less) equal goodwill, liking, and pleasure. Friendship can exist between siblings, lovers, parent and adult child, as well as between otherwise unrelated people. Some friendships are valued chiefly for their usefulness. Such friendships are instrumental or means friendships. Other friendships are valued chiefly for their own sakes. Such friendships are noninstrumental or end friendships. In this paper I …Read more
  •  145
    Philosophical interest in friendship has revived after a long eclipse. This is largely due to a renewed interest in ancient moral philosophy, in the role of emotion in morality, and in the ethical dimensions of personal relations in general. Some of the main questions raised by philosophers are the following: Is friendship only an instrumental value, i.e., only a means to other values, or also an intrinsic value - a value in its own right? Is friendship a mark of psychological and moral self-suf…Read more
  •  142
    Friends as ends in themselves
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 48 (1): 1-23. 1987.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research is currently published by International Phenomenological Society
  •  134
    International aid: When giving becomes a vice
    Social Philosophy and Policy 23 (1): 69-101. 2006.
    Peter Singer and Peter Unger argue that moral decency requires giving away all one's “surplus” for the relief or prevention of “absolute poverty,” because not doing so is analogous to refusing to save a drowning child to avoid making one's clothes muddy. I argue that there is a crucial disanalogy between the two cases and, moreover, that there are four independent moral objections to their thesis: it is monomaniacal in ignoring the variety of morally worthy ideals and elevating self-sacrificial …Read more
  •  115
    Friendship: A Philosophical Reader (edited book)
    Cornell University Press. 1993.
    Introduction: The Nature and Signif1cance of Friendship Neera Kapur Badhwar Philosophers have long recognized that friendship plays a central role in a ...
  •  106
    Replies to my Commentators
    Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (1): 227-240. 2016.
  •  94
    I. Introduction Sex has been thought to reveal the most profound truths about individuals, laying bare their deepest desires and fears to their partners and themselves. In ‘Carnal Knowledge,’ Wendy Doniger states that this view is to be found in the texts of ancient India, in the Hebrew Bible, in Renaissance England and Europe, as well as in contemporary culture, including Hollywood films.1 Indeed, according to Josef Pieper, the original, Hebrew, meaning of `carnal knowledge’ was `immediate toge…Read more
  •  87
    1.1 Are commercial societies unfriendly to friendship? Many critics of commercial societies, from both the left and the right, have thought so. They claim that the free-market system of property rights, freedom of contract, and other liberty rights – the “negative” right of individuals to peacefully pursue their own ends – is impersonal and dehumanizing, or even inherently divisive and adversarial. Yet (their complaint goes) the psychology and morality of markets and liberty rights pervade far t…Read more
  •  87
    Is Realism Really Bad for You? A Realistic Response
    Journal of Philosophy 105 (2): 85-107. 2008.
  •  84
    Experiments in living
    The Philosophers' Magazine 35 (35): 58-61. 2006.
  •  81
    Friendship and commercial societies
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (3): 301-326. 2008.
    Critics of commercial societies complain that the free-market system of property rights and freedom of contract tends to commodify relationships, thus eroding the bonds of personal and civic friendship. I argue that this thesis rests on a misunderstanding of both markets and friendship. As voluntary, reciprocal relationships, market relationships and friendship share important properties. Like all relations and activities that exercise important human capacities and play an important role in a m…Read more
  •  62
    The circumstances of justice: Pluralism, community, and friendship
    Journal of Political Philosophy 1 (3). 1993.
    Liberal political theory sees justice as the "first virtue" of a good society, the virtue that guides individuals' conceptions of their own good, and protects the equal liberty of all to pursue their ends, so long as these ends and pursuits are just. But ever since Marx's declaration that "liberty as a right of man is not founded upon the relations between man and man, but rather upon the separation of man from man...,"i liberal society has been frequently criticized for falling seriously short …Read more
  •  44
    Moral Agency, Commitment, and Impartiality*: NEERA K. BADHWAR
    Social Philosophy and Policy 13 (1): 1-26. 1996.
    Liberal political philosophy presupposes a moral theory according to which the ability to assess and choose conceptions of the good from a universal and impartial moral standpoint is central to the individual's moral identity. This viewpoint is standardly understood by liberals as that of a rational human agent. Such an agent is able to reflect on her ends and pursuits, including those she strongly identifies with, and to understand and take into account the basic interests of others. From the p…Read more
  •  42
    Hume Studies Referees, 2004–2005
    with Donald Ainslie, Julia Annas, Margaret Atherton, Donald Lm Baxter, Martin Bell, Lorraine Besser-Jones, Richard Bett, Simon Blackburn, and M. A. Box
    Hume Studies 31 (2): 385-387. 2005.
  •  42
    Friendship, Justice and Supererogation
    American Philosophical Quarterly 22 (2). 1985.
  •  37
    Dignity and Vulnerability: Strength and Quality of Character
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1): 246-248. 2001.
    In this significant new addition to moral theory, George Harris challenges a view of the dignity and worth of persons that goes back through Kant and Christianity to the Stoics. He argues that we do not, in fact, believe this view, which traces any breakdowns of character to failures of strength. When it comes to what we actually value in ourselves and others, he says, we are far more Greek than Christian. At the most profound level, we value ourselves as natural organisms, as animals, rather th…Read more
  •  35
    This book offers a new argument for the ancient claim that well-being as the highest prudential good -- eudaimonia -- consists of happiness in a life according to virtue. Virtue is a source of happiness, but happiness also requires external goods.
  •  32
    Liberal political theory sees justice as the "first virtue" of a good society, the virtue that guides individuals’ conceptions of their own good, and protects the equal liberty of all to pursue their ends, so long as these ends and pursuits are just. But ever since Marx’s declaration that "liberty as a right of man is not founded upon the relations between man and man, but rather upon the separation of man from..
  •  31
    Justice within the limits of human nature alone
    Social Philosophy and Policy 33 (1-2): 193-213. 2016.
    Abstract: Contra John Rawls, G. A. Cohen argues that the fundamental principles of justice are not constrained by the limits of our nature or the nature of society, even at its historical best. Justice is what it is, even if it will never be realized, fully or at all. Likewise, David Estlund argues that since our innate motivations can be justice-tainting, they cannot be a constraint on the right conception of justice. Cohen and Estlund agree that if the attempt to implement a certain conception…Read more
  •  19
    Altruism versus self-interest: Sometimes a false dichotomy*: Neera Kapur Badhwar
    Social Philosophy and Policy 10 (1): 90-117. 1993.
    In the moral philosophy of the last two centuries, altruism of one kind or another has typically been regarded as identical with moral concern. When self-regarding duties have been recognized, motivation by duty has been sharply distinguished from motivation by self-interest . Accordingly, from Kant, Mill, and Sidgwick to Rawls, Nagel, and Gauthier, concern for our own interests, whether long-term or short-term, has typically been regarded as intrinsically nonmoral. So, for example, although Tho…Read more