David Schmidtz

Affiliation: Center for the Philosophy of Freedom

Title: Kendrick Professor of Philosophy, Eller Chair of Service-Dominant Logic

Type of Affiliation: Faculty

David Schmidtz is editor of Social Philosophy & Policy and Head of the Department of Political Economy & Moral Science  at the University of Arizona.

After graduating from Arizona in 1988, he spent the next three years at Yale as Assistant Professor, then three more as Associate Professor. Since then, he enjoyed three semesters at Bowling Green in Philosophy and the Social Philosophy and Policy Center, a semester as Visiting Professor at McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, and a semester teaching first year property at Florida State College of Law. He was named Phi Beta Kappa National Scholar in 2014.  He was the founding Director of the Arizona Center for Philosophy of Freedom.

Dave has won fundraiser of the year awards from both the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the University.  Dave thanks all those who fund his research, as listed in the Acknowledgements sections of his published essays.  Here are some samples of his work on PROPERTY, MORALITY, CAPITALISM, COMMUNISM, POLITICSENVIRONMENT, EQUALITY, and JUSTICE.


Books Authored by David Schmidtz

Every species has its tools for survival. To say "no man is an island" is to say that without trade, we would live... Read more
Is it rational to be moral? How do rationality and morality fit together with being human? These questions are at the heart... Read more
Extensively revised and expanded in this second edition, Environmental Ethics: What Really Matters, What Really Works... Read more
Using a fusion of philosophical, social scientific, and historical methods, --  A Brief History of Liberty... Read more
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This volume collects thirteen of David Schmidtz's essays on the question of what it takes to live a good life, given... Read more
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What is justice? Questions of justice are questions about what people are due, but what that means in practice depends on... Read more
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The issue of social welfare and individual responsibility has become a topic of international public debate in recent years... Read more
The most widely accepted justification for political authority is that coercive institutions are necessary to provide for... Read more

Books Edited by David Schmidtz

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This collection is devoted to Robert Nozick, one of the dominant philosophical thinkers of our time. Nozick's famous book... more

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Multimedia Textbooks by David Schmidtz


In this book, Cathleen Johnson, Robert Lusch, and David Schmidtz discuss the connections between the ethical, economic, and entrepreneurial dimensions of a life well-lived.

The ethical question is: how do people have to live in order to make the world a better place with them than without...


In this book, Cathleen Johnson, Robert Lusch, and David Schmidtz discuss the connections between the ethical, economic, and entrepreneurial dimensions of a life well-lived.

The ethical question is: how do people have to live in order to make the world a better place with them than without...

Research Papers by David Schmidtz

Title Publication Year Published
Epistemic Democracy Routledge Handbook of Applied Epistemology 2018
Voting: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly The Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy 2018
Voting: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly The Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy 2018
The Demographic Objection to Epistocracy Res Publica 2018
Can Corrupt Soft Money Improve Corrupt Academia? Free Speech on Campus 2018
Should Employers Pay a Living Wage? Journal of Business Ethics 2018
Moral Parity between State and Non-State Actors Routledge Handbook of Anarchy 2018
Classical Liberalism: Back to the Future The Future of Classical Liberalism 2018
Libertarianism After Nozick Philosophy Compass 2018
Foreign Aid and Global Redistribution: A Critique Ethics: Left and Right 2018
The Myths of the Self-Ownership Thesis The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism 2017
The Myths of the Self-Ownership Thesis The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism 2017
Realistic Idealism Research Methods in Analytical Political Theory, ed. Adrian Blau 2017
On Satz, Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale Journal of Philosophy 2011
Water Externalities: Tragedy of the Common Canal 2009
Water Externalities: Tragedy of the Common Canal 2009
The Trolley Problem as a Problem for Libertarians Utilitas 2007
0n political economy (Corruption) Performance and Progress 2016
0n moral theory: Adam Smith Princeton Handbook of Adam Smith 2016
0n Moral Theory: Peter Singer Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 2016
0n Property (when original appropriation solves a problem) Social Philosophy and Policy 1994
Humanly rational choice 2 (how we choose goals) Ethics 1994
Humanly rational choice 1 (why we don't maximize) Journal of Philosophy 1992
Humanly rational choice 3 (why we care about others) Social Philosophy and Policy 1993
Rediscovering the Moral Sciences Austrian Review of Economics 2017
0n Rawls and Nozick Social Philosophy and Policy 2005
0n Justice (and deserving) Political Theory 2002
Political Economy: F. A. Hayek Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1999
An Empirical Disconfirmation of Neoclassical Economic Theory Supreme Court Economic Review 2015
0n Property (when communal property solves a problem) UC Davis Law Review 2003
0n Property (legal history) Oxford History of Political Philosophy 2015
0n Property (as a social experiment) European Liberal Forum 2009
Political Economy: Diminishing Marginal Utility Person, Polis, Planet 2008
Humanly rational choice 4 (on the nature and limits of decision theory) Midwest Studies in Philosophy 2004
The Meanings of Life Robert Nozick 2002
Moral Theory: Priority of the Right Rational Choice and Moral Agency 2010
Why Be Rational? Rational Choice and Moral Agency 1995
0n Justice (and guarantees) Social Philosophy and Policy 1997
Natural Enemies Environmental Ethics 2000
Are All Species Equal? Journal of Applied Philosophy 2000
Nonideal Theory: What It Is and What it Needs to Be Ethics 2011
Experimental Philosophy: Theory On the Reliability of Economic Models 1995
Free Will As a Political Problem from Brief History of Liberty 2011
0n Justice (and equality) Social Philosophy and Policy 2002
The Language of Ethics Creating Wealth: 2010
When Preservationism Doesn’t Preserve Environmental Values 1997
Islands In a Sea of Obligation Law & Philosophy 2000
When Justice Matters Ethics 2007
A Place for Cost-Benefit Analysis Nous (Philosophical Issues) 2001
Experimental Philosophy: Practice Public Choice 1989
Justifying the State Ethics 1990
Steiner's Essay on Rights Canadian Journal of Philosophy 1996
Review of Serena Olsaretti's Liberty, Desert, and the Market Philosophical Review 1999
Philosophical Logic (Parsons on the Liar Paradox) Erkenntnis 1990
Philosophy of Law (Deterrence & Criminal Attempts) Canadian Journal of Philosophy 1987

Presentations by David Schmidtz

Title Datesort ascending City Country
Elements of Justice December 18, 2017 - 4:00pm Seoul South Korea
Saving the Elephants November 16, 2017 - 3:00pm Urbana Champaign United States
Markets in Education November 15, 2017 - 1:00pm Springfield United States
Markets in Education November 3, 2017 - 2:00pm Stockholm Sweden
Public Choice As Political Philosophy October 6, 2016 - 4:00pm Fairfax United States
Reasonable Idealism: Essays on Person, Polis, Planet February 6, 2016 - 5:00pm Wuhan China
"The Return of Ethics" January 15, 2016 - 7:00pm Moscow Russia
Schools, Plumbers, & Justice November 1, 2013 (All day) Louvain-la-Neuve Belgium
Ideal For Real: Realistic Hopes for American Politics October 17, 2012 (All day) Ithaca United States
Western Theories of Justice July 1, 2012 (All day) Istanbul Turkey
Adam Smith on Freedom March 1, 2012 (All day) Prague Czech Republic
Property and Justice March 1, 2012 (All day) Bratislava Slovakia
Hayek Against Justice November 1, 2011 (All day) Washington United States
A Brief History of Property Rights September 10, 2011 (All day) Bucharest Romania
Respect for Everything June 1, 2010 (All day) Oslo Norway
Functional Property, Real Justice May 1, 2010 (All day) Ankara Turkey
The Right to Distribute January 1, 2010 (All day) London United Kingdom
Functional Property, Real Justice November 9, 2009 (All day) Berlin Germany
Lectures on A Brief History of Liberty August 1, 2009 (All day) Canberra Australia
What Teachers Owe Students October 1, 2008 (All day) Stanford United States
Lectures on A Brief History of Liberty June 1, 2008 (All day) Kfar Blum Israel
Lectures on A Brief History of Liberty March 1, 2008 (All day) Los Angeles United States
Lectures on A Brief History of Liberty April 1, 2007 (All day) Cambridge United Kingdom
The Institution of Property August 1, 2005 (All day) Santiago Chile
Lectures on Elements of Justice October 1, 2004 (All day) Singapore Malaysia


Videos by David Schmidtz


Colloquium Series: May 15, 2012

David Schmidtz from the University of Arizona Freedom Center. Tom and Vi Zapara from the School of Business at La Sierra University.

Doctoral Students

Name Current Post Topic Year
Gregory Robson
PhD Candidate
PhD Candidate
Justice 2017
Sameer Bajaj
PhD Candidate
PhD Candidate
Liberalism 2017
Dan Shahar
Doctoral Candidate
University of Arizona
The Ecology of Right Action 2016
John Thrasher
Monash University
Social Contract 2013
Daniel Silvermint
University of Connecticut
Oppression 2012
Chris Freiman
William & Mary
Moral Theory & Psychology 2010
Chris Brown
National U of Singapore
Kantian Virtue 2008
Jason Brennan
Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Chair
Georgetown University
Moral Theorizing 2007
Matt Bedke
University of British Columbia
Normativity 2007
Cara Nine
University College Cork
Morality of Borders 2005
Rhonda Smith
Air Force Academy
Self-respect 1999
Steve Scalet
University of Baltimore
Liberal Justice 1999
Linda Radzik
Associate Professor
Texas A&M University
Normativity 1997
Lainie Ross
University of Chicago
Justice for Children 1996
Walter Glannon
Canada Research Chair
University of Calgary
Free will 1995