Richard J. Arneson

Office: H&SS 8057 Email:

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1975.

Richard J. Arneson has been a professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego since July, 1973. He received the Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, 1975.  He was department chair from 1992-1996.  He has also been departmental graduate advisor. His UCSD rank since July, 2008 is Professor, Above Scale (Distinguished Professor). As of July, 2011, he holds the Valtz Family Chair in Philosophy here at UCSD.

Starting in November, 2011 he has an affiliation as Visiting Research Professor at the the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom and Department of Philosophy at the University of Arizona. He visited there in winter, 2013.

He is a Co-Director of the Institute for Law and Philosophy at the School of Law, University of San Diego.

He has been visiting professor at the University of California, Davis (1990) and at the Program in Ethics, Politics, and Economics at Yale University  (1996). In spring 1999 he was a visiting fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University.  In January-February 2007 he was visiting professor (unpaid) at Charles Sturt University, the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Australian National University branch. From August-December, 2008, he was Adjunct Professor at the School of Law, University of San Diego.

Teaching interests:

He teaches ethics and social and political philosophy.

Research interests:

His recent current research is on distributive justice. Some of this work explores how one might best incorporate a reasonable account of personal responsibility into a broadly egalitarian theory of justice. He also considers how consequentialist morality (one ought always to do an act the consequences of which are no worse than those of any alternative available act) might be developed in a version that is appealing and appropriately responsive to its critics.  This latter project involves exploring the structure of moderate deontology to identify the best rival of consequentialism.  He does some applied ethics.

Recent and forthcoming publications

  1. "Four Conceptions of Equal Opportunity," Economic Journal (2017).
  2. "Freedom and Religion, in David Schmidtz and Steven Wall, eds., Oxford Handbook of Freedom.
  3. "Resolving the Responsibility Dilemma," in Saba Bazargan and Samuel Rickless, eds., The Ethics of War: Essays (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).
  4. "Exploitation, Domination, Competitive Markets, and Unfair Division, Southern Journal of Philosophy (2016).
  5. "Extreme Cosmopolitanism Defended," in Critical Reviews in Social and Political Philosophy (2016).
  6. "Elitism," Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, vol. 2, (2016)
  7. "Applied Moral Philosophy," in Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen, ed., Routledge Companion to Applied Philosophy.
  8. "Does Fairness Require a Multidimensional Approach?", in Matthew Adler and Marc Fleurbaey, eds. Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).
  9. "What Do We Owe to Poor Families?", in LEAP, on-line journal, University of Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain (2015).
  10. "Ronald Dworkin and Luck Egalitarianism: A Comparison," in Serena Olsaretti, ed., Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, probably 2015).
  11. "Nudge and Shove," Social Theory and Practice 41 (2015), pp. 668-691.  
  12. "Why Not Capitalism?", in Alexander Kaufman, ed., Distributive Justice and Access to Advantage (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 207-234.
  13. " Comments [on Pogge]," Yale Human Rights and Development Journal 17 (2014), pp. 88-98.
  14.  "Critical Notice: Justice for Earthlings," Analysis Reviews (2014), pp. 1-9.
  15.  "Rejecting the Order of Public Reason," Philosophical Studies 170, No. 3 (2014), pp. 537-544.
  16. "Neutrality and Political Liberalism," in Daniel Weinstock and Roberto Merrill, eds., Political Neutrality: A Reevaluation (Basingstoke, Hampshire,    England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 25-43.
  17.  "Basic Equality: Neither Rejectable nor Acceptable," in Uwe Steinhoff, ed., volume on Basic Equality (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014),
  18. "Liberalism and Equality," in Steven Wall., ed., Cambridge Companion to Liberalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, probably 2015.
  19. "Locke and the Liberal Tradition," forthcoming in Mathew Stuart, ed., A Companion to Locke (Oxford: Blackwell).
  20. "Political Liberalism, Religious Liberty, and Religious Establishment," Hanoch Dagan, Shahar Lifshitz, and Yedidia Z. Stern, eds., The Role of Religion in Human Rights Discourse (Jerusalem: Israel Democracy Institute, 2014), pp. 117-144.
  21. "Discrimination, Disparate Impact, and Theories of Justice," in Sophia Moreau and Deborah Hellman, eds., Philosophical Foundations of Discrimination Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 87-111.
  22. "International Clinical Trials Are Not Inherently Exploitative," in Arthur L. Caplan and Robert Arp. eds., Contemporary Debates in Bioethics (Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell, 2014), pp. 485-494 along with "Reply to Watson," pp. 498-500.
  23. "The Enforcement of Morals Revisited," Criminal Law and Philosophy 7, No. 3 (October, 2013), pp. 435-454.
  24. "Exploitation and Outcome," Politics, Philosophy, and Economics 12, No. 4 (2013), pp. 392-412.
  25. "Equality of Opportunity: Derivative Not Fundamental," Journal of Social Philosophy 44, No. 4 (Winter, 2013), pp. 1-15.
  26. "Is Patriotism Immoral?", Philosophic Exchange 43, Issue No. 1 (2013).
  27. "From Primary Goods to Capabilities to Well-Being," review essay on work of Amartya Sen, Critical Reviews in Social and Political Philosophy (2013).
  28. "Paternalism and the Principle of Fairness," in Christian Coons and Michael Weber, eds., Paternalism: Theory and Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 134-156.
  29. "Democratic Equality and Relating as Equals," in Justice and Equality, Colin Macleod, ed., supp. vol. 36, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, supp. vol. 36 (2010), pp. [Actual date of publication: 2012.]
  30. "Theories, Types, and Bounds of Justice," forthcoming in Darrel Moellendorf and Heather Widdows, eds., Handbook of Global Ethics (Durham, UK: Acumen Publishing Limited, 2013).
  31. "Rethinking Luck Egalitarianism and Unacceptable Inequalities," Philosophical Topics 40, No. 1 (Spring, 2012), pp. 153-169.
  32. "Justice," forthcoming in David Estlund, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).
  33. "Side Constraints, Lockean Individual Rights, and the Moral Basis of Libertarianism," in Ralf. M. Bader and John Meadowcroft, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Nozick's 'Anarchy, State, and Utopia' (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 15-27.
  34. "Liberalism, Capitalism, and 'Socialist' Principles," Social Philosophy and Policy 28, No. 2 (Summer, 2011), pp. 232-261.
  35. "Good, Period," review essay on Judith Thomson, Normativity, in Analysis, supp. vol. (2010).
  36. "Against Freedom of Conscience, "San Diego Law Review, 47, No. 4 (Fall, 2010), pp. 1015-1040.
  37. "Luck Egalitarianism--A Primer," in Carl Knight and Zofia Stemplowska, eds., Responsibility and Distributive Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 24-50..
  38. "Disadvantage, Capability, Commensurability, and Policy," review of Jonathan Wolff and Avner de-Shalit, Disadvantage, in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics 9 (2010), pp. 339-357.
  39. "Self-Ownership and World Ownership: Against Left-Libertarianism," Social Philosophy and Policy 27, No. 2 (Winter, 2010), pp. 168-194.
  40. "Meaningful Work and Market Socialism Revisited," Analyse & Kritik 31, Issue 1 (2010), pp. 139-151.
  41. "Value Pluralism Does Not Support Liberalism," San Diego Law Review 46, No. 4 (Fall, 2009), pp. 925-940.
  42. "The Supposed Right to a Democratic Say," in John Christman and Thomas Christiano, eds., Contemporary Debates in Contemporary Political Philosophy (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), pp. 197-212.
  43. "Justice Is Not Equality," review essay on book by G. A. Cohen, in Ratio 21, No. 4 (2008), pp. 379-391.
  44. "Two Cheers for Capabilities," forthcoming in Harry Brighouse and Ingrid Robeyns, eds., Measuring Justice: Primary Goods and Capability (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  45. "What Do We Owe to Distant Needy Strangers?", in Jefrey A. Schaler. ed., Peter Singer under Fire (Chcago and La Salle: Open Court, 2009), pp. 267-293.
  46. "Rawls, Responsibility, and Distributive Justice," in Justice, Political Liberalism, and Utilitarianism: Themes from Harsanyi and Rawls, Marc Fleurbaey and John A. Weymark, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.)
  47. "What Is Wrongful Discrimination?", San Diego Law Review 43 (2006), pp. 775-807
  48. "Does Social Justice Matter? Brian Barry's Applied Political Philosophy," Ethics 117 (April, 2007).
  49. "Just Warfare and Noncombatant Immunity," in Cornell International Law Journal, 39, No. 3 (2006), pp. 663-688..
  50. "Shame, Stigma, and Disgust in the Decent Society,"Journal of Ethics 11 (2007), pp. 31-63.
  51. "Luck Egalitarianism: An Interpretation and Defense," Philosophical Topics 32, Nos. 1 & 2 (Spring-Fall 2004), pp. 1-20 .[Actual date of publication: September, 2006.]
  52. "Joel Feinberg and the Justification of Hard Paternalism," Legal Theory 11 (2005), pp. 259-284.
  53. "Desert and Equality," in Nils Holtug and Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen, eds. Egalitarianism: New Essays on the Nature and Value of Equality (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 262-293.
  54. "The Meaning of Marriage and State Efforts to Facilitate Friendship, Love, and Child-Rearing," San Diego Law Review 42, No. 3 (Summer 2005), pp. 979-1001.
  55. "Broadly Utilitarian Theories of Exploitation and Multi-National Clinical Research," in Ezekiel Emanuel and Jennifer Hawkins, eds., volume on exploitation in medical research (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007).
  56. "Desire Formation and Human Good," Royal Institute of Philosophy, supp. vol. 59, Preferences and Well-Being, Serena Olsaretti, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 9-32.
  57. "Justice after Rawls," in John Dryzek and Anne Phillips, eds., Oxford Handbook of Political Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).       
  58. "Distributive Justice and Basic Capability Equality: 'Good Enough' Is Not Good Enough," in Alexander Kaufman, ed., Capabilities Equality: Basic Issues and Problems (London: Routledge, 2005).
  59. "Sophisticated Rule Consequentialism: Some Simple Objections," Philosophical Issues, supp. vol. to Nous (2005).
  60. "Do Patriotic Ties Limit Global Justice Duties?", Journal of Ethics 9 (2005), pp. 127-150.
  61. "The Shape of Lockean Natural Rights: Pareto, Fairness, and Consent," Social Philosophy and Policy 22, No. 1 (Winter, 2005), pp. 255-285.
  62. "Cracked Foundations of Liberal Equality," in Justine Burley. ed.,  Ronald Dworkin and His Critics (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 2005), pp. 79-98.
  63. "Democracy Is Not Intrinsically Just," in Justice and Democracy, ed. by Keith Dowding, and Robert E. Goodin, and Carole Pateman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 40-58.
  64. "Moral Limits on the Demands of Beneficence?", in The Ethics of Assistance: Morality, Affluence, and the Distant Needy, ed. by Deen K. Chatterjee (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 33-58.
  65.  "Opportunity for Welfare, Priority, and Public Policy," in Globalization, Culture, and the Limits of the Market: Essays in Economics and Philosophy, ed. by Steven Cullenberg and Prasanta K. Pattanaik (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 177-214.
  66. "Consequentialism versus Special-Ties Partiality," The Monist 86, No. 3 (July, 2003), pp. 382-401.
  67. "Liberal Neutrality on the Good: An Autopsy," in Perfectionism and Neutrality: Essays in Liberal Theory, ed. by George Klosko and Steven Wall (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), pp. 191-208.
  68.  "Equality, Coercion, Culture, and Social Norms," in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics 2, No. 2 (June, 2003), pp. 139-163.
  69.  "The Smart Theory of Responsibility and Desert," in Desert and Justice, ed. by Serena Olsaretti (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 233-258.
  70.  "Defending the Purely Instrumental Account of Democratic Authority," The Journal of Political Philosophy 11, No. 1 (March,2003), pp. 122-13.
  71.  "Is Moral Theory Perplexed by New Genetic Technology?", San Diego Law Review 39, No. 3 (August/September, 2002).
  72.  "Why Justice Requires Transfers to Offset Income and Wealth Inequalities," Social Philosophy and Policy 19, No. 1 (2002), pp. 172-200x.
  73.  "The End of Welfare as We Know It?  Scanlon versus Welfarist Consequentialism," Social Theory and Practice 28, No. 2 (April, 2002).
  74.  "Luck and Equality," Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, supp. vol. (2001), pp. 73-90.
  75.  "Against Rights," Philosophical Issues, vol. 11(December, 2001).
  76.  "Critical Notice" of Equality, Responsibility, and the Law by Arthur Ripstein, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31, No. 2 (June, 2001), pp. 245-262.
  77.  "Welfare Should Be the Currency of Justice," Canadian Journal of Philosophy 30, No. 4 (December, 2000), pp. 497-524.
  78.  "Disability, Priority, and Social Justice," in Americans with Disabilities: Exploring the Implications of the Law for Individuals and Institutions, ed. by Leslie A. Francis and Anita Silvers (London: Routledge, 2000).
  79.  "Perfectionism and Politics," Ethics 111, No. 1 (October, 2000), pp. 37-63.
  80.  "Economic Analysis Meets Distributive Justice" (review essay), Social Theory and Practice 26, No. 2 (Summer, 2000).
  81.  "Egalitarian Justice versus the Right to Privacy," Social Philosophy and Policy 17, No. 2 (Summer, 2000), pp. 91-119.
  82.  "Rawls versus Utilitarianism in the Light of Political Liberalism," in The Idea of a Political Liberalism: Essays on Rawls, ed. by Clark Wolf and Victoria Davion (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littelfield, 2000).
  83.  "Luck Egalitarianism and Prioritarianism," Ethics 110, No. 2 (January, 2000).
  84.  "Egalitarianism and Responsibility," Journal of Ethics 3, No. 3 (1999), pp. 225-247.
  85.  "What, If Anything, Renders All Humans Morally Equal?," in Peter Singer and His Critics, ed. by Dale Jamieson (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999).
  86.  "Equal Opportunity for Welfare Defended and Recanted," Journal of Political Philosophy 7, No. 4 (December, 1999).
  87.  "Human Flourishing versus Desire Satisfaction," Social Philosophy and Policy 16, No. 1 (Winter, 1999).
  88.  "Against Rawlsian Equality of Opportunity," Philosophical Studies 93, No. 1 (January, 1999).
  89.  "What Sort of Sexual Equality Should Feminists Seek?", Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues 9 (Spring, 1998).
  90.  "Real Freedom and Distributive Justice," in Freedom in Economics: New Perspectives in Normative Analysis, ed. by Jean-Francois Laslier, Marc Fleurbaey, Nicolas Gravel, and Allain Trannoy (London and New York: Routledge, 1998).
  91.  "Feminism and Family Justice," Public Affairs Quarterly 11, No. 4 (October, 1997).
  92.  "Egalitarianism and the Undeserving Poor," Journal of Political Philosophy 5, No. 3 (1997).

Work in progress:

Essay on basic equality, rational agency capacity, potential, and personhood.
Essay on "Self-Defense and Culpability."
Essay on "Moderate Deontology, Aggregation, and Rights"
Essay on "BOL!--Defending the bare objective list theory of well-being."
Essay on patriotism and nationalism as forms of wrongful discrimination.
Essay on friendship.
Essay on "Varieties of Cosmopolitanism and the Ideal of Global Justice."
Essay on "Moral Worth and Moral Luck."

Current Curriculum Vitae


"Cracked Foundations of Liberal Equality." This essay was written in 1994 and in 2004 finally appeared in print. (I revised this essay in September, 2002.)  Strictly speaking, this is a former unpublication.
"Rawls, Responsibility, and Distributive Justice." This essay was written for a conference that occurred in June, 1996.  The essay is supposed to appear in Justice, Political Liberalism, and Utilitarianism: Themes from Harsanyi and Rawls, ed. by Maurice Salles and John A. Weymark (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). The CUP Web Site used to say the volume was forthcoming in 2004.  News flash: The volume is now in print (2008). So this is also demoted to "former unpublication" status. Or one might revise the idea of an unpublication, as follows: any writing delayed from publication for more than ten years is an unpublication. Even if eventually printed, it's a zombie or ghost.

Current Undergraduate Courses:

Graduate seminars:

Graduate students I am currently working with (or recently supervised):

Informal supervision:

In July, 2015, I ran a preliminary thesis exam for Lars Christie, who received a Ph.D. from the University of Oslo in Fall, 2015.  From September, 2014 to June, 2015 I worked with Eyyeon Park, a graduate student from South Korea working on global justice. During spring quarter, 2010, I supervised the research of Audrey Cahill, a visiting graduate student from the National University of Ireland, Galway. In prior years I did the same for Kalle Grill from Sweden and before that, Carl Knight who was then finishing a Ph.D. degree at the University of Manchester.

Undergraduate Mentoring

Undergraduate courses:

        SPRING 2006
        Undergraduate seminar--The Morality of Terrorism (Philosophy 87 Spring 2006)
        Classics in Political Philosophy (Philosophy 166  Spring 2006)
       Introduction to Philosophy (Philosophy 1 Spring 2006)

Fall, 2007

Winter 2008

Spring 2008

Fall 2008

Winter 2009


Fall, 2008