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 Kendrick Professor of Philosophy (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) and Eller Chair of Service-Dominant Logic (College of Management) at the University of Arizona. He is editor of Social Philosophy & Policy and is the Freedom Center's founding director.  

After graduating from Arizona in 1988, he spent the next three years at Yale as Assistant Professor, then three more as Associate Professor. Along the way, he enjoyed a year at Chapel Hill as a Yale Morse Fellow, another year at Kansas State while on sabbatical from Yale, and three semesters in Bowling Green in Philosophy and at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center.  Most recently, he has been Visiting Professor at McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, and now holds continuing appointments as Visiting Professor of Political Economy at King's College London, and as Distinguished Fellow in Philosophy, Politics, and Economic at George Mason University. He was named Phi Beta Kappa National Scholar in 2014. Dave taught first year property at Florida State College of Law in fall 2007.  Click for introductory material on some philosophical issues in the law of PROPERTY. Click for introductory material on philosophical approaches to ETHICSVALUE theory, or theorizing about JUSTICE.

Vitae: vita 2017_0.docx

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... more

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Book Reviews by David Schmidtz

Review Title Publication Year
Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale

I met Robert Nozick once, in December 1999, after my talk on the meaning of life at Boston University. Over dinner, Nozick said he wanted me to understand his rejection of libertarianism.  His...

Journal of Philosophy 2011
Liberty, Desert, and the Market

Serena Olsaretti observes socialism in retreat. After a century of large-scale central planning, we now take the relative efficiency of markets as given. Do markets occupy the moral high ground...

The Philosophical Review 2007

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...

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What is the difference between a good theory and a bad one?  What makes theorizing worthwhile?  What sort of truth is there for moral theories to track?  What can a theory track well?  Is there “terrain” that is there no point in even trying to track (either because it is not worth tracking or...

Research Papers by David Schmidtz

Title Publication Year Published
Prisoner’s Dilemma Experiments The Prisoner’s Dilemma, Martin Peterson, editor 2014
0n Moral Theory: Peter Singer Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 2016
0n moral theory: Adam Smith Princeton Handbook of Adam Smith 2016
0n Rawls and Nozick Social Philosophy and Policy 2005
Political Economy: James Buchanan Austrian Review of Economics 2017
Political Economy: F. A. Hayek Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2017
Experimental Philosophy: Are Price Controls Fair? Supreme Court Economic Review 2016
0n political economy (Corruption) Performance and Progress 2015
0n Justice (and deserving) Political Theory 2002
0n humanly rational choice (how we choose goals) Ethics 1994
0n humanly rational choice (and why we don't maximize) Journal of Philosophy 1992
0n humanly rational choice (why we care about others) Social Philosophy and Policy 1993
0n Property (when original appropriation solves a problem) Social Philosophy and Policy 1994
0n Property (when communal property solves a problem) UC Davis Law Review 2003
0n Property (legal history) Oxford History of Political Philosophy 2011
0n Property (as a social experiment) European Liberal Forum 2009
Political Economy: Diminishing Marginal Utility Person, Polis, Planet 2008
0n humanly rational choice (Newcomb's Problem) Midwest Studies in Philosophy 2004
The Meanings of Life Robert Nozick 2002
What Is Justice? Elements of Justice 2005
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 1998
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
Respect for Nature Environmental Ethics 2012
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 Debra Satz's Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale Journal of Philosophy 2011
Review of Serena Olsaretti's Liberty, Desert, and the Market Philosophical Review 2007
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 Date City Country
"The Return of Ethics" January 15, 2016 - 7:00pm Moscow Russia
A Brief History of Property Rights September 10, 2011 (All day) Bucharest Romania
Adam Smith on Freedom March 1, 2012 (All day) Prague Czech Republic
Adam Smith: La Sierra University May 15, 2012 (All day) Riverside United States
Beyond Economics: Questions of Fairness January 1, 1998 (All day) Baltimore United States
Course on Elements of Justice July 1, 2004 (All day) Almaty Kazakhstan
Diminishing Marginal Utility July 1, 1995 (All day) New Orleans United States
Environmental Conflict Resolution June 1, 1997 (All day) London United Kingdom
Environmental Conflict Resolution January 1, 2001 (All day) New York United States
Environmental Ethics and Property Law January 1, 1994 (All day) Cleveland United States
Environmental Justice July 1, 1997 (All day) Melbourne Australia
Experimental Philosophy July 1, 1989 (All day) Marseille France
Functional Property, Real Justice May 1, 2010 (All day) Ankara Turkey
Functional Property, Real Justice November 9, 2009 (All day) Berlin Germany
Guarantees January 1, 1996 (All day) Kirchberg Australia
Hayek Against Justice November 1, 2011 (All day) Washington United States
Ideal For Real: Realistic Hopes for American Politics October 17, 2012 (All day) Ithaca United States
Lectures on A Brief History of Liberty August 1, 2009 (All day) Canberra Australia
Lectures on A Brief History of Liberty March 1, 2008 (All day) Los Angeles United States
Lectures on A Brief History of Liberty June 1, 2008 (All day) Kfar Blum Israel
Lectures on A Brief History of Liberty April 1, 2007 (All day) Cambridge United Kingdom
Lectures on Elements of Justice March 1, 1998 (All day) Auckland New Zealand
Lectures on Elements of Justice August 1, 1999 (All day) Johannesburg South Africa
Lectures on Elements of Justice May 1, 2004 (All day) Providence United States
Lectures on Elements of Justice March 1, 2004 (All day) Alanta United States


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.

David Schmidtz on Preparing for the Academic Job Market (Part 1)

David Schmidtz, a philosopher at the University of Arizona, speaks to graduate students about the academic job market.
YouTube Channel: UA Freedom Center

David Schmidtz on Preparing for the Academic Job Market (Part 2)

David Schmidtz, a philosopher at the University of Arizona, speaks to graduate students about the academic job market.
YouTube Channel: UA Freedom Center

Adam Smith on Freedom

David Schmidtz is Kendrick Professor of Philosophy, joint Professor of Economics, founding director of Arizona's Freedom Center, and editor of Social Philosophy and Policy. He works mainly in...

David Schmidtz's Doctoral Students

Name Current Postsort descending Topic Year
Rhonda Smith Air Force Academy Self-respect 1999
Jason Brennan Georgetown University Moral Theorizing 2007
John Thrasher Monash University Social Contract 2013
Chris Brown National U of Singapore Kantian Virtue 2008
Sameer Bajaj PhD Candidate Liberalism 2017
Linda Radzik Texas A&M University Normativity 1997
Cara Nine University College Cork Morality of Borders 2005
Dan Shahar University of Arizona The Ecology of Right Action 2016
Steve Scalet University of Baltimore Liberal Justice 1999
Matt Bedke University of British Columbia Normativity 2007
Walter Glannon University of Calgary Free will 1995
Lainie Ross University of Chicago Justice for Children 1996
Daniel Silvermint University of Connecticut Oppression 2012
Matt Zwolinksi University of San Diego Separateness of Persons 2003
Chris Freiman William & Mary Moral Theory & Psychology 2010