• Allen E Buchanan

  • James B. Duke Professor
  • Philosophy
  • 201-E West Duke Building
  • Campus Box 90743
  • Phone: +1 919-660-2426
  • Fax: +1 919-660-3060
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Specialties

    • Political Philosophy
    • Philosophy of International Law
    • Social Moral Epistemology
    • Bioethics
  • Research Description

    RESEARCH AND TEACHING I’m teaching my usual two course load this Fall. One is a basic course on human rights, focusing on controversies about the nature of human rights, the justifications for claims about the existence of human rights, the reasons for and against having an international legal human rights system, and the legitimacy (or otherwise) of efforts to promote compliance with human rights norms. The other course is on Social Moral Epistemology, which is the systematic comparative evaluation of alternative institutions and social practices so far as they influence the sorts of beliefs that are typically important for moral judgment, moral reasoning, and moral sentiments. I continue to do research mainly in three areas: Bioethics (at present mainly on the ethics of enhancement and of synthetic biology), Philosophy of International Law, and Social Moral Epistemology. My most recent papers are as follows: (1) “Human Rights,” in The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy, David Estlund, ed., 2013; (2) "Why International Legal Human Rights?", forthcoming in FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS, edited by Matthew Liao and Massimo Renzo; (3) "Human Rights and Moral Progress," in HUMAN RIGHTS: THE HARD QUESTIONS, edited by Cindy Holder and David Reidy, 2013; and (4) "Social Moral Epistemology and Education," forthcoming in a volume on the Philosophy of Education resulting from a Spencer Foundation conference, edited by Harry Brighouse. 1) is a critical survey of current work by philosophers on human rights and argues that they have a seriously inadequate conception of what a philosophical theory of human rights should do. (2) addresses an embarrassingly neglected question: Even if there are moral human rights, why should we have a system of international legal human rights? (3) develops a theory of moral progress and shows how the modern conception of human rights incorporates progress in thinking about justice. My most recent book, THE HEART OF HUMAN RIGHTS (Oxford University Press) will be published in late September of 2013. I now have three academic positions. I am at Duke in the fall semester every year, as Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Law. Then I spend most of the spring semester every year in a research position at the University of Arizona Freedom Center as Visiting Professor. Then I spend May and June of every year in London at the King’s College Law School (the Dickson Poon School of Law) in a research position as Professor of the Philosophy of International Law.
  • Areas of Interest

    Political Philosophy, 
    Philosophy of International Law,
    Social Moral Epistemology
    Bioethics
  • Education

      • PhD,
      • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
      • 1975
      • B.A., Magna cum laude,
      • Columbia Uiversity,
      • 1970
  • Awards, Honors and Distinctions

      • Nomination for Harvard Society of Fellows Junior Fellowship,
      • September 2006
      • Langford Lectureship,
      • Duke University,
      • 2003
      • National Endowment for the Humanities Center Fellow, Research Triangle Park,
      • 2001-2002
      • Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Professorship,
      • University of Arizona,
      • 2001
      • Fellowship, Udall Center for the Study of Public Policy,
      • University of Arizona,
      • 1999
      • University of Wisconsin Alumni Foundation Named Professor,
      • 1995
      • Grainger Professorship in Business Ethics,
      • University of Wisconsin-Madison, Brainger School of Business,
      • 1993
      • Deciding for Others (co-authored with Dan W. Brock) named one of the ten best books in Bioethics,
      • 1992
      • "Justice and Charity" selected for Philosopher's Annual,
      • 1987
      • Delegate,
      • American Philosophical Association Cultural exchange with Soviet Academy of Sciences,
      • September, 1987
      • Independent Study and Research Fellowship,
      • National Endowment for the Humanities,
      • 1985-1986
      • Social Science Research Institute Professorship,
      • University of Arizona,
      • Spring 1985
      • Summer Fellow,
      • Political Philosophy Seminar, Menlo Park, California,
      • 1980
      • Single Quarter Leave for research on Marx's critique on conceptions of justice,
      • University of Minnesota,
      • 1979
      • Summer Fellow,
      • Political Philosophy Seminar, Santa Barbara, California,
      • 1979
      • Three-year National Defense Education Act Title IV Fellowship,
      • University of North Carolina,
      • 1971-74
      • Magna Cum Laude,
      • Columbia University,
      • 1970
      • Columbia University Scholar,
      • 1966-70
      • Phi Beta Kappa,
      • Columbia University,
      • 1966-70
  • Recent Publications

      • A.E. Buchanan.
      • The Heart of Human Rights, OUP, 2013.
      • October, 2013.
      Publication Description

      This is the first book-length treatment of a fundamental topic in Political Philosophy: the justifications for having an international legal human rights system.

      This book will be of interest to philosophers, political scientists,international lawyers, and human rights activists.

      • Justice and Health Care.
      • January, 2011.
      • A. Buchanan.
      • "Democracy and the Commitment to International Law."
      • University of Georgia Journal of Comparative and International Law
      • Spring 2006
      • (Spring, 2006)
      • .
      • (Invited contribution to special issue on "The Limits of International Law" by Eric Posner and Jack Goldsmith)
      • A. Buchanan.
      • "Institutionalizing the Just War."
      • Philosophy & Public Affairs
      • (January, 2006)
      • .
      • A. Buchanan.
      • "Uncoupling Secession From Nationalism and Itnrastate Autonoly From Secession."
      • Negotiating Self-Determination.
      • Ed. Hurst Hannum.
      • Routledge,
      • 2006.
  • View All Publications
  • PhD Students

    • Aaron Ancell
      • September 01, 2013 - present
      • Status: PostQual
      • Thesis: "Political Disagreement"
    • Heather Wallace
      • September 01, 2013 - present
      • Status: PostQual
      • Thesis: undecided
    • Antoinette Scherz
      • April 10, 2013 - present
      • Status: PostPrelim
      • Thesis: "Multilateral Democracy"
    • Matt DeCamp
      • 2006 - present
    • Monica A Hlavac
      • 2006 - present
    • Russell Powell
      • 2006 - present
    • Allison Schmidt
      • 2006 - present
Allen E Buchanan