Matt Zwolinski, PhD
Associate Professor, Philosophy
Matt Zwolinski, PhD, specializes in Political Philosophy and Applied Ethics. He is a co-director of USD’s Institute for Law and Philosophy, editor of Arguing About Political Philosophy (Routledge, 2014) and author, with John Tomasi, of A Brief History of Libertarianism (forthcoming with Princeton University Press in 2015). He regularly teaches courses in ethics, business ethics, social ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of law. His primary research interests lie at the intersection of ethics, law, and economics, with two specific areas of focus. The first involves the proper understanding and normative status of liberty and political libertarianism. The second has to do with the nature and moral significance of exploitation for individual ethics and political institutions.Curriculum Vitae (141.2 KB)
Ph.D., University of Arizona, Philosophy (2003)
B.A., Santa Clara University, Philosophy
B.S., Santa Clara University, Political Science
Scholarly and Creative Work
Zwolinski’s research deals with the intersection of ethics, law, and economics, with two specific areas of focus. The first involves the proper understanding and normative status of liberty and political libertarianism. The second is the phenomenon of exploitation and its implications for individual ethics and political institutions.
His work on liberty and libertarianism has appeared in The Journal of Value Inquiry, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Basic Income Studies, and elsewhere. He is currently finishing work on a book on the history of libertarian thought, with John Tomasi of Brown University. It will be published by Princeton University Press in 2014.
As part of his general research on libertarianism, Professor Zwolinski has recently been exploring the compatibiliity between libertarianism and a Basic income Guarantee. His work on this topic has been discussed at CNN, The New York Times, The London Telegraph, and elsewhere.
Zwolinski's work on exploitation has appeared in Business Ethics Quarterly, Social Philosophy and Policy, and the Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy. After his book on libertarianism is completed, Zwolinski will return to the topic of exploitation with an essay in the Oxford Handbook of Freedom, and a second book project, tentatively entitled Exploitation, Capitalism, and the State.
The second edition of Zwolinski's textbook, Arguing About Political Philosophy, was published by Routledge in 2014.
Zwolinski has taught a variety of courses for the philosophy department, the Honors Program, and in the Guadalajara Summer Program. In addition to numerous courses in theoretical and applied ethics (Ethics, Business Ethics, and Social Ethics), he has also taught metaethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of law. His most recent course development was a team-taught honors course on “The Good Life,” with his wife, Jennifer Zwolinski, of the Psychology Department.