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Scholarly Interest Report
         
George Sher
Professor
Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Humanities
 
e-mail:gsher@rice.edu
 
  • B.A. (1964) Brandeis University
  • B.A. (1964) Brandeis University
  • Ph.D. (1972) Columbia University
 
Primary Department
   Department of Philosophy
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Department Affiliations
 
  • Department of Philosophy
  •  
     
    Research Areas
     Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Moral Psychology
     
    Teaching Areas
     ethics, social and political philosophy,moral psychology
     
    Selected Publications
     Refereed articles
     

    Talents and Choices, Nous (publication pending; prepublished onlined)

     
     Articles
     

    Review of Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift, Family Values, Social Theory and Practice,forthcoming 2015.

     
     

    Perfectionism and Democracy, in Daniel Weinstock and Roberto Merril, eds.,Political Neutarlity: A Reevaluation. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

     
     

    Responsibility, Conversation, and Communication, in Randolph Clarke, Michael McKenna, and Angela Smith, eds., The Nature of Moral Responsibility,Oxford University Press, forthcoming

     
     

    Why We Are Moral Equals, in Uwe Steinhoff, ed., Do All Persons Have Equal Moral Worth? Oxford University Press, 2015 (released in 2014)

     
     

    "Perfectionism and Democracy," in Daniel Weinstock and Roberto Merril, eds., Political Neutrality: A Reevaluation, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming.

     
     

    "Responsibility, Conversation, and Communication," in Randolph Clarke, Michael McKenna, and Angela Smith, eds., The Nature of Moral Responsibility, Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

     
     

    "Wrongdoing and Relationships:  The Problem of the Stranger," in Neil Tognazzini and  Justin Coates, eds., Blame:  Its Nature and Norms, Oxford University Press, 2013.

     
     

    Perfectionism and Equality: Further Thoughts," Ethical Perspectives, September 2012.

     
     

    "Transgenerational Compensation," Reprinted in: Lukas Meyers, ed., Intergenerational Justice, Ashgate, 2012

     
     

    "Global Norming:  An Inconvenient Truth," reprinted in Steven M. Cahn, Moral Problems in Higher Education, Temple University Press, forthcoming.

     
     

    "Perfectionism and Democracy," in Daniel Weinstock and Roberto Merrill, eds., Political Neutrality:  A Reevaluation, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming.

     
     

    "Real-World Luck Egalitarianism," Social Philosophy and Policy, Winter, 2010.   Reprinted in Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred D. Miller, and Jeffrey Paul, ed., Ownership and Justice, Cambridge University Press, 2010

     
     

    "Responsibility and Practical Reasoning," in Joseph Cambpell, Michael O'Rourke, and Harry Silberstein, eds., Responsibility, Ethics, and Action, MIT Press, 2010

     
     

    "Talents and Choiches," Nous, forthcoming

     
     

    "What Makes a Lottery Fair?" reprinted in Peter Stone, ed., Lotteries in Public Life:  A Reader, Imprint Academic, forthcoming.

     
     

    "But I Could Be Wrong." Metaethics: Critical Concepts in Philosophy (2008)

     
     

    "Global Norming: An Inconvenient Truth." A Teacher's Life: Essays for Steven M. Cahn. Lexington Books (forthcoming)

     
     

    "Real-World Luck Egalitarianism." Social Philosophy and Policy (forthcoming)

     
     

    "Responsibility and Practical Reason." Responsibility, Ethics, and Action. MIT Press (forthcoming)

     
     

    "Who's In Charge Here? Reply to Neil Levy." Philosophia (June 2008)

     
     

    "Global Norming: An Inconvenient Truth." A Teacher's Life: Essays for Steven M. Cahn (forthcoming)

     
     

    "Responsibility and Practical Reason." Responsibility, Ethics, and Action (forthcoming)

     
     

    "But I Could Be Wrong." Ethical Theory: An AnthologyIn Press

     
     

    "Five Questions on Political Philosophy." Political Questions

     
     

    "Kantian Fairness." Philosophical Issues: Nous Supplementary Volume

     
     

    "Liberal Neutrality and the Value of autonomy." Liberal Neutrality and Its Critics

     
     

    "My Profession and Its duties." Academic Ethics

     
     

    "Out of Control." Ethics (January 2006)

     
     

    "Should Drugs Be Legalized?." Annual Editions: Drugs, Society, and Behavior

     
     

    "Transgenerational Compensation." Philosophy and Public Affairs (Spring 2005)

     
     

    "Ancient Wrongs and Modern Rights." Nomos (2004)

     
     

    Sher, G. "Effort and Imagination." in Serena Olsaretti, ed., Essays on Justice and Desert (2003)

     
     

    Sher, G. "Freedom of Expression in the Non-Neutral State." in George Kloso and Steven Wall, ed., Perfectionism and Neutrallity: Essays in Liberal Theory (2003)

     
     

    Sher, G. "Liberal Neutrality and the Value of Autonomy." reprinted in Geoff Smith, ed., Liberalism: Critical Assessments (2003)

     
     

    Sher, G. "Should Drugs Be Legalized?." Criminal Justice Ethics, Winter/Spring (2003)

     
     

    Sher, G. "Blameworthy Action and Character." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (March 2002)

     
     

    Sher, G. "Diversity." Morality Matters: Race, Class, and Gender in Applied Ethics (2002)

     
     

    Sher, G. "Diversity." The Affirmative Action Debate, 2nd edIn Press

     
     

    Sher, G. "Freedom of Expressionin the Non-Neutral State." Perfectionism and Neutrality: Essays in Liberal TheoryIn Press

     
     

    Sher, G. "Other Voices, Other Rooms? Women's Psychology and Moral Theory." Morality Matters: Race, Class, and Gender in Applied Ethics (2002) : Jeffrey R. DiLeo, ed..

     
     Books
     

    Sher, G. "Equality for Inegalitarians." Cambridge University Press (2014)

     
     

    Equality for Inegalitarians, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, Fall 2014

     
     

    Equality for Inegalitarians, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

     
     

    "Who Knew? Responsibility Without Awareness." Oxford University Press (forthcoming June 2008)

     
     

    G. Sher "In Praise of Blame."  (released November 2005)

     
     

    "Beyond Neutrality: Perfectionism and Politics." In Press

     
     Editor of books
     

    Ethics: Essential Readings in Moral Theory, Routledge, 2012

     
     

    Ethics:  Essential Readings in Moral Theory, Routledge, forthcoming.

     
     Book chapters
     

    The Letter-Writer's Dilemma, Reprinted in Steven Cahn, Moral Problems in Higher Education (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2011)

     
     

    What Makes a Lottery Fair? Reprinted in Peter Stone, ed., Lotteries in Public Life (Charlottesville, VA: Imprint Academic, 2011)

     
     Conference papers
     

    Why We Are Moral Equals, Center for Human Values Colloquium, Princeton University, December 2011

     
     Other
     

    George Sher "Blame for Traits." Nous (March 2001)

     
     

    George Sher "Blameworthy Action and Character." Philosophy and Phenomenological Rearch

     
     

    George Sher "But I Could Be Wrong." Social Philosophy and Policy (Summer 2001)

     
     

    George Sher "But I Could Be Wrong." Republished in Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred D. Miller, and Jeffrey Paul, eds., Moral Knowledge (2001)

     
     

    George Sher "Diversity." Political Philosophy: A Reader, Louis Pojman, ed. (2001)

     
     

    George Sher "Introduction to John Stuart Mill,." Utilitarianism, 2nd ed. (2001)

     
     

    George Sher "Review of Colin Bird"The Myth of Liberal Individualism." Mind (January 2001)

     
     

    George Sher "The Principle of Neutrality." in Lawrence C. Becker and Charlotte Becker, eds., The Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2nd ed. (2001)

     
     

    George Sher and William J. Bennett "Moral Education and Indoctrination." Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life, 2nd ed, Christina Hoff Sommers and Fred Sommers (2001)

     
     

    George Sher "Review of Colin Bird, The Myth of Liberal Individualism." Mind

     
     

    George Sher "Diversity." Philosophy and Public Affairs (Spring 1999)

     
     

    George Sher "Justifying Reverse Discrimination in Employment." reprinted in Victoria Wike and Cynthia Brincat, eds. Morality and the Professional Life: Values at Work (1999)

     
     

    George Sher "Review of Colin Bird, "The Myth of Liberal Individualism." Mind (forthcoming)

     
     

    George Sher "Review of Phillip Montague, Punishment as Societal Defense." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (July 1999)

     
     

    George Sher "The Principle of Neutrality." in Lawrence Becker and Charlotte Becker, eds., The Encyclopedia of Ethics

     
     

    George Sher "Review of Jean Hampton, Political Philosophy." Philosophical Review (forthcoming)

     
     

    George Sher "Ethics, Character, and Action, Social Philosophy and Policy Winter 1998. Republished in Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred D. Miller, and Jeffrey Paul, eds. Virtue and Vice." Cambridge University Press (1998)

     
     

    George Sher "Justifying Reverse Discrimination in Employment, reprinted in." McGraw-Hill, Second Edition (1999)

     
     

    George Sher "Justifying Reverse Discrimination in Employment, reprinted in." Prometheus (1997)

     
     

    George Sher and Baruch Brody "Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy." Harcourt Brace (1999)

     
    Presentations
     Conference Paper
     

    "How Bad Is It to Be Dominated?" Rocky Mountain Ethics Conference, University of Colorado at Boulder, August, 2016.

     
     

    "How Bad Is It to Be Dominated?" Conference on Contractarianism and Political Philosophy, Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2016: forthcoming in Me, You, Us.

     
     

    "Blame and Moral Ignorance," Conference on Vice and Blame, California State University at Fullerton, March, 2016; forthcoming in Me, You, Us; also forthcoming in Philip Robichaud and Jan-Willem Weiland, eds., Responsibility: The Epistemic Dimension (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017)

     
     

    "Comments on Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift, Family Values, Society for the Philosophy of Education, American Philosophical Association Eastern Division meetings, Philadelphia (December 2014)

     
     

    "Comments on Richard Arneson, 'Elitism'," Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Conference, Columbia, MO, (September 2014)

     
     

    "Morality and Blame," Wheaton College (Illinois), (February 2014)

     
     Invited Papers
     

    "A Theory of Perfectionism," University of Keele (UK), (June 2014)

     
     

    "Comments on Catherine Wilson, 'Functional Belief in a Just World'." Chapel Hill Colloquium, Chapel Hill, NC. (October 2002)

     
     

    "Comments on Douglas Husak,'In Defense of the Legalization of Drugs'." American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, (December 2002)

     
     Invited Talks
     

    "Comments on John Kekes, 'The Dangerous Ideal of Equality,." Conference on Personal Autonomy, Political Philosophy, and Democracy, Dartmouth College. (November, 2010)

     
     

    "Foundations of Luck Egalitarianism." University of North Carolina at Charlotte, (March 2010)

     
     

    "Foundations of Luck Egalitarianism,." University of Vermont, (November, 2010)

     
     

    "Replies to Critics."  Workshop on George Sher, Beyond Neutrality: Perfectionism and Politics." University of Munich, (March 2010)

     
     

    "Talents and Choices." University of Calgary, (October, 2010)

     
     

    "Talents and Choices." Davidson College, (April, 2010)

     
     

    "Wrongdoing and Relationships:  The Problem of the Stranger." Texas A&M University, (February 2010)

     
     

    "Real-World Luck Egalitarianism." Conference on Ownership and Justice, Social Philosophy and Policy Center, Bowling Green State University. (September 2008)

     
     

    "Knew--Or Should Have Known?." Conference on Aristotle's Ethics Today, University of British Columbia. (October 2007)

     
     

    "Knew--Or Should Have Known?." Conference on Aristotle's Ethics Today, Humbolt University, Berlin. (May 2007)

     
     Author-Meets-Critics session on In Praise of Blame
     
     Keynote Speaker
     

    "We're Number One," Murphy Institute at Tulane University, February 2016; forthcoming in a collection of my essays entitle Me,You,Us (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

     
     

    "Why We Are Moral Equals," Kenote Address, Rocky Mountain Ethics Conference, Boulder, Co, (August 2014)

     
     

    "Perfectionism and Democracy," Workshop on George Sher, Beyond Neutrality:  Perfectionism and Politics, University of Munich, March, 2010

     
     Lectures
     

    "Comments on Heather Battaly and Wayne Riggs, "Educating the Moral Virtues," American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meetings, Baltimore." (December 2013)

     
     

    "How Does Inequality Justify Choice?" Conference on Equality and Public Policy, Ohio University." (November 2013)

     
     

    "Responsibility, Conversation, and Communication," American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meetings, San Francisco." (March 2013)

     
     

    "Why We Are Moral Equals," Union College." (February 2013)

     
     

    "Why We Are Moral Equals," University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee." (October 2013)

     
     

    ""Comments on Linda Zagzebski, "Moral Exemplars in Theory and Practice," Conference on Virtue and Education, Stanford University." (October 2012)

     
     

    ""Responsibility, Conversation, and Communication," Workshop on Moral Responsibility, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain."." (November 2012)

     
     

    ""Why We Are Equals," Conference on Moral Equality, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong." (November 2012)

     
     

    "Responsibility and Awareness," Working Papers Seminar on Responsibility, University of Southern California Law School."." (September 2012)

     
     

    "Responsibility Without Awareness." Distinguished Lecture Series, Mississippi State University. (October 2008)

     
     

    "Objectivity and the Good." Conference on Concepts and Objectivity, University of Pittsburgh. (September 2006)

     
     

    "Perfectionism and Democracy." Conference on the future of Democracy, College of William and Mary. (October 2006)

     
     

    "Responsibility and Practical Reason." University of Toronto. (March 2006)

     
     

    "Responsibility and Practical Reason." Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference, Moscow, idaho and Pullman, Washington. (March 2006)

     
     

    "Moral Compromise." National Institute of Health Seminar, Johns Hopkins University. (March 2004)

     
     

    "Out of Control." University of Wyoming. (February 2004)

     
     

    "Out of Control." Southern Methodist University. (April 2004)

     
     

    "Out of Control." Center for the Study of Cultures Lecture, Rice University. (October 2004)

     
     

    "Out of Control." Brown University. (May 2004)

     
     

    "What Blame is Not." Conference on Moral Psychology, University of Minnesota. (April 2004)

     
     

    "Transgenerational Compensation." Conference on Historical Justice, University of California at Riverside. (February 2003)

     
     Other
     

    "Out of Control." Colorado State University. (April 2005)

     
     

    "The Enforcement of Morals." debate with Alan Kors, United States Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference, New Orleans, LA. (May 2005)

     
     

    "Transgenerational Compenstion." Conference on Positive Discrimination, Copenhagen, Denmark. (March 2005)

     
     

    "When Good People Do Bad Things." University of Wyoming. (February 2005)

     
     

    "When Good People Do bad Things." Presidential Address, American Society for Value Inquiry, Washington, DC. (December 2003)

     
     

    "Effort and Imagination." Conference on Desert and Justice, Cambridge, England. (July 2001)

     
     

    "Transgenerational Justice." Conference on Historical Justice, Potsdam, Germany. (July 2001)

     
     

    ""Anti-Neutralism and Freedom of Expression"." American Political Science Association, Washington, D.C.. (August 2000)

     
     

    "Blame for Traits." 28th Conference on Value Inquiry (plenary address), Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas. (April 2000)

     
     

    "Blame for Traits." University of Kentucky Philosophy Department, Lexington, Kentucky. (March 2000)

     
     

    "Comments on Daniel Haybron, "Does Happiness Reduce to Pleasure?"." American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, Albuquerque, New Mexico. (April 2000)

     
     

    "Comments on Gillian Brock, 'The New Nationalism." American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, Oakland, CA. (March 1999)

     
     

    "Liberty and Sexual Orientation (panel discussion)." Randolph-Macon Women's College, Lynchburg, VA. (September 1999)

     
    Editorial Positions
     Member of the Editorial Board, Criminal Justice Ethics. (2016 - 2016)

     Member of the Editorial Board, Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy. (2016 - 2016)

     Member of the Editorial Board, Ethics. (2010 - 2010)

     Member of the Editorial Board, Theory and Research in Education. (2010 - 2010)

     Member of the Editorial Board, Ethics. (2016 - 2016)

    Supervised Theses & Dissertations
     Jeremy Ray Garrett, Ph.D. The Normative Foundations of Civil Marriage. (2008) (Thesis Director)

     William Hosmer Smith, Ph.D. Selfhood, Intersubjectivity and the Normativity of Moral Obligations. (2008) (Thesis Committee Member)

     Garret Aarron Merriam, Ph.D. Virtue Ethics and the Moral Significance of Animals. (2008) (Thesis Committee Member)

     Rainer Ebert, Doctorate The Wrongness of Killing. (2016) (Thesis Director)

     Joseph Adams, Doctorate Living Storied Lives. (2016) (Thesis Director)

     Elizabeth Hupfer, Doctorate Global Distributive Justice: A Structural Approach. (2017) (Thesis Director)

     Kerry Vaughan, Doctorate Libertarian Paternalism. (2017) (Thesis Director)

     Christopher Dohna, Doctorate A New Perfectionism: Our Moral Capacity as Grounds for Moral Realism. (2017) (Thesis Director)

     Daniel Burkett, Doctorate Punishment By Agreement. (2017) (Thesis Director)

     Brandon M. Williams, Doctorate Perspectivism in Metaethics. (Thesis Co-Director)

     Jesse Slavens, Doctorate Tracking Kant's Bete Noir: The Significance of Hegel's Emptiness Critique for Contemporary Kantian Ethics. (Thesis Committee Member)

     Sherry Kao, Doctorate Living Reflectively. (Thesis Committee Member)

     Peter D. Zuk, Doctorate Well-Being and Consciousness. (Thesis Co-Director)

     Leslie McNolty, Doctorate "Integrity and the Limits of Impartial Morality". (Thesis Director)

     Dustin Tune , Doctorate "In Defense of Sufficiency as the Distributive Ideal for Political Power". (Thesis Director)

     Lisa Eddleman, Doctorate "Philosophical Underpinnings of Human Dignity in Bioethics". (Thesis Committee Member)

     Joseph Adams, Doctorate "Living Storied Lives". (Thesis Director)

     Stan Husi, Doctorate "Normativity and Appeal". (Thesis Director)

     Moti Gorin, Doctorate "The Nature and Ethical Significance of Manipulation". (Thesis Committee Member)

     Carissa Phillips-Garrett, Doctorate Aristotle on Blame, Moral Responsibility, and Forgiveness. (Thesis Co-Director)

    Awards, Prizes, & Fellowships
     Humanities Research Center Teaching Leave, Humanities Research Center (Spring 2011)

     Laurence S. Rockefeller Research Fellowship, University Center for Human Values , Princeton University (Fall 2011)

     National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers, (2000-01)

    Positions Held
     Member of Editorial Board, Ethics. (2011 - 2011)

     Member of Editorial Board, Theory and Research in Education. (2011 - 2011)

     Member of Editoral Board, Criminal Justice Ethics. (2011 - 2011)

     Member of Editorial Board, Ethics. (2003 - 2003)

     Member of Editorial Board, Theory and Research in Education. (2003 - 2003)