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Samuel Freeman

Avalon Professor of the Humanities

Avalon Professor of the Humanities

Professor of Philosophy and of Law

Ph.D. Harvard University

J.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
A.B. (Highest Honors) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


Samuel Freeman teaches courses on social and political philosophy, ethics, and philosophy of law. He has written books on Justice and the Social Contract and on the political philosophy of John Rawls. His collection of papers, entitled Liberalism and Distributive Justice, is to appear in Spring 2018.  Freeman edited the Cambridge Companion to Rawls (2002), as well as John Rawls's Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy (2007) and his Collected Papers (1999). He is currently working on a manuscript on liberalism.


Research Interests

  • Social and Political Philosophy
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Law

Selected Publications

Find me on PhilPapers:

Rawls, (The Philosophers Series, Routledge, 2007; Chinese translation, 2014)

Justice and the Social Contract, (Oxford University Press, 2006)

‘Property Owning Democracy and the Difference Principle,’ Analyse & Kritik, vol. 9 (2013):  9-36

'The Social and Institutional Bases of Distributive Justice,' in Cosmopolitanism versus Noncosmopolitanism, Gillian Brock, ed. (Oxford U Press, 2013), 198-221

‘Capitalism in the Classical and High Liberal Traditions,’ Social Philosophy and Policy,
28 (no. 2 Summer 2011): 19-55; reprinted in Capitalism and Liberalism, ed. Ellen
Paul (Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011)

‘Constructivism, Facts, and Moral Justification,’ Contemporary Debates in Political
Philosophy, Thomas Christiano, ed. (Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 2009)

'The Burdens of Public Justification,' Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, 6 (No.1, 2007): 5-43

"Illiberal Libertarians: Why Libertarianism is not a Liberal View" Philosophy and Public Affairs, 30, 2 (Spring 2002), 105-151.

“John Rawls: An Overview,” in The Cambridge Companion to Rawls, Samuel Freeman, ed., 1-61.(Cambridge University Press, 2003)

“Deliberative Democracy: A Sympathetic Comment,” Philosophy and Public Affairs, 29, 4 (Fall 2000 issue), 371-418

“Utilitarianism, Deontology, and the Priority of Right,” Philosophy and Public Affairs, 23, 4 (Fall 1994), pp.313-349.

“Original Meaning, Democratic Interpretation, and the Constitution,” Philosophy and Public Affairs, 21, 1 (Winter 1992), pp.3-42.

"Property as an Institutional Convention in Hume's Account of Justice," Archiv für
Geschichte der Philosophie, vol.73, no.1, 1991, pp.20-49.

“Reason and Agreement in Social Contract Views,” Philosophy and Public Affairs, 19, 2 (Spring 1990), pp.122-157.

"Constitutional Democracy and the Legitimacy of Judicial Review,"
Law and Philosophy, vol.9, no.4, November 1990, pp.327-370.