Associate Professor, Philosophy
Matt Zwolinski, PhD, specializes in Political Philosophy and Normative Ethics. He is a co-director of USD’s Institute for Law and Philosophy, and serves on the editorial board of Business Ethics Quarterly. He regularly teaches courses in ethics, business ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of law. His areas of research expertise are political philosophy and normative ethics, with a special focus on the intersection of ethics, law, and economics.
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, and Blackwell Press. He is currently researching alternatives to the traditional Nozickian conception of libertarianism grounded in individual self-ownership.
On the topic of exploitation, Zwolinski has recently published articles dealing with the ethics of sweatshop labor and price gouging in Business Ethics Quarterly and Stanford University Press. He is now working on a book entitled Exploitation, Capitalism, and the State, which will explore the kinds of exploitation that occur in markets and politics, and their implications for institutional reform.
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 Engineering 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.