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Allen E Buchanan, James B. Duke Professor    editAllen E Buchanan

Office Location: 201-E West Duke Building
Office Phone: +1 919-660-2426
Fax:  +1 919-660-3060
Email Address: send me a message

PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1975
B.A., Magna cum laude, Columbia Uiversity, 1970

Political Philosophy
Philosophy of International Law
Social Moral Epistemology

Research Interests:
RESEARCH AND TEACHING I’m teaching my usual two course load this Fall. One is a basic course on human rights, focusing on controversies about the nature of human rights, the justifications for claims about the existence of human rights, the reasons for and against having an international legal human rights system, and the legitimacy (or otherwise) of efforts to promote compliance with human rights norms. The other course is on Social Moral Epistemology, which is the systematic comparative evaluation of alternative institutions and social practices so far as they influence the sorts of beliefs that are typically important for moral judgment, moral reasoning, and moral sentiments. I continue to do research mainly in three areas: Bioethics (at present mainly on the ethics of enhancement and of synthetic biology), Philosophy of International Law, and Social Moral Epistemology. My most recent papers are as follows: (1) “Human Rights,” in The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy, David Estlund, ed., 2013; (2) "Why International Legal Human Rights?", forthcoming in FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS, edited by Matthew Liao and Massimo Renzo; (3) "Human Rights and Moral Progress," in HUMAN RIGHTS: THE HARD QUESTIONS, edited by Cindy Holder and David Reidy, 2013; and (4) "Social Moral Epistemology and Education," forthcoming in a volume on the Philosophy of Education resulting from a Spencer Foundation conference, edited by Harry Brighouse. 1) is a critical survey of current work by philosophers on human rights and argues that they have a seriously inadequate conception of what a philosophical theory of human rights should do. (2) addresses an embarrassingly neglected question: Even if there are moral human rights, why should we have a system of international legal human rights? (3) develops a theory of moral progress and shows how the modern conception of human rights incorporates progress in thinking about justice. My most recent book, THE HEART OF HUMAN RIGHTS (Oxford University Press) will be published in late September of 2013. I now have three academic positions. I am at Duke in the fall semester every year, as Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Law. Then I spend most of the spring semester every year in a research position at the University of Arizona Freedom Center as Visiting Professor. Then I spend May and June of every year in London at the King’s College Law School (the Dickson Poon School of Law) in a research position as Professor of the Philosophy of International Law.

Areas of Interest:
Political Philosophy, 
Philosophy of International Law,
Social Moral Epistemology

Teaching (Fall 2015):
  • PHIL 508S.01, Political values Synopsis
    Randolph 115, Th 03:05 PM-05:35 PM
  • PHIL 701S.02, Special fields in phil (sem) Synopsis
    West Duke 204, M 03:05 PM-05:35 PM

Recent Publications   (More Publications)
  • A.E. Buchanan. The Heart of Human Rights, OUP, 2013.  October, 2013.  [abs] [author's comments]
  • with  Justice and Health Care. Justice and Health Care.  January, 2011.
  • A. Buchanan. "Democracy and the Commitment to International Law." University of Georgia Journal of Comparative and International Law Spring 2006 (Spring, 2006). (Invited contribution to special issue on "The Limits of International Law" by Eric Posner and Jack Goldsmith)
  • A. Buchanan. "Institutionalizing the Just War." Philosophy & Public Affairs (January, 2006).
  • A. Buchanan. "Uncoupling Secession From Nationalism and Itnrastate Autonoly From Secession." Negotiating Self-Determination. Ed. Hurst Hannum Routledge, 2006

Curriculum Vitae

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