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Research Interests for Allen E. Buchanan

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'm currently working in three main areas: Social Moral Epistemology, Philosophy of International Law, and, most recently, a project with Russell Powell on a naturalized theory of moral progress. My current work in progress includes a paper on institutional legitimacy that further develops the Metacoordination View of the practical function of legitimacy assessments set out in my recent book, THE HEART OF HUMAN RIGHT, and a paper called "Toward a Naturalized Theory of Moral Progress", co-authored with Russell Powell and currently under review. (2) "Why International Legal Human Rights?", forthcoming 2015 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.

Keywords:
Law, Philosophy
Areas of Interest:

Political Philosophy, 
Philosophy of International Law,
Social Moral Epistemology
Bioethics

Recent Publications
  1. Buchanan, A; Powell, R, Toward a Naturalistic Theory of Moral Progress, Ethics, vol. 126 no. 4 (July, 2016), pp. 983-1014 [doi]
  2. Buchanan, A, Self-determination, revolution, and intervention, Ethics, vol. 126 no. 2 (forthcoming), pp. 447-453 [abs]
  3. Buchanan, A, Human Rights: A Plea for Taking the Law and Institutions Seriously, Ethics and International Affairs, vol. 30 no. 04 (2016), pp. 501-510 [doi]
  4. Buchanan, A; Cole, T; Keohane, RO, Justice in the Diffusion of Innovation, in Political Theory Without Borders: Philosophy, Politics and Society 9 (October, 2015), pp. 133-161, ISBN 9781119110132 [doi[abs]
  5. Buchanan, A; Powell, R, The Limits of Evolutionary Explanations of Morality and Their Implications for Moral Progress, Ethics, vol. 126 no. 1 (October, 2015), pp. 37-67 [doi]

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