Matt Zwolinski, PhD

Matt Zwolinski
Phone: (619) 260-4094
Office: Founders Hall 167A

Professor, Philosophy
Director, Center for Ethics, Economics and Public Policy

  • PhD, University of Arizona, Philosophy (2003)
  • BA, Santa Clara University, Philosophy
  • BS, Santa Clara University, Political Science

Matt Zwolinski, PhD, specializes in Political Philosophy and Applied Ethics. He is the director of USD’S Center for Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy, director of USD’s undergraduate minor in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and co-director of USD’s Institute for Law and Philosophy. He is the editor of Arguing About Political Philosophy (Routledge, 2014) and is currently writing or editing four books: 

  • A Brief History of Libertarianism, with John Tomasi(under contract with Princeton University Press)
  • Universal Basic Income: What Everyone Needs to Know, with Miranda Fleischer (under contract with Oxford University Press)
  • The Routledge Companion to Libertarianism, with Ben Ferguson (under contract with Routledge)
  • Exploitation: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, with Ben Ferguson (under contract with Oxford University Press)

Areas of Expertise

libertarianism, universal basic income, price gouging and exploitation, ethics and economics

Scholarly Work

Professor 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 Social Philosophy and Poilicy, 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, and editing the Routledge Companion to Libertarianism with Ben Ferguson.

As part of his general research on libertarianism, Professor Zwolinski has recently been exploring the compatibility between libertarianism and a Basic income Guarantee. His work on this topic has been discussed at CNNThe New York TimesThe London Telegraph, and elsewhere. He is currently writing a book on the basic income for Oxford University Press’s What Everyone Needs to Know series, with Miranda Fleischer.

Professor Zwolinski's work on exploitation, including several pieces on the ethics of price gouging and sweatshop labor, has appeared in Business Ethics QuarterlySocial Philosophy and Policy, and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. He is currently editing a collection of essays on the topic for Oxford University Press, with Ben Ferguson.

The second edition of Professor Zwolinski's textbook, Arguing About Political Philosophywas published by Routledge in 2014.

Areas of Interest

Professor 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. He regularly teaches the Gateway and Capstone courses in the program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.

Office Hours

Section 80R
1/26 - 5/06 T TH 9:30 am - 10:30 amFounders Hall - 167A
T TH 1:00 pm - 2:00 pmFounders Hall - 167A

Syllabi