T. M. Scanlon

Philosopher, Award Winner

1940 –

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Who is T. M. Scanlon?

Thomas Michael "Tim" Scanlon is the Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity in Harvard University's Department of Philosophy. He has been awarded a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant. He grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana; earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard under Burton Dreben; studied for a year at Oxford University on a Fulbright Scholarship; and taught for many years at Princeton University, where he had been an undergraduate student.

His dissertation and some of his first papers were in mathematical logic, where his main concern was in proof theory, but he soon made his name in ethics and political philosophy, where he developed a version of contractualism in the line of John Rawls, Immanuel Kant, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Scanlon has also published important work on freedom of speech, equality, tolerance, foundations of contract law, human rights, conceptions of welfare, theories of justice, as well as on foundational questions in moral theory.

His teaching in the department has included courses on theories of justice, equality, and recent ethical theory. His book, What We Owe to Each Other, was published by Harvard University Press in 1998; a collection of papers on political theory, The Difficulty of Tolerance, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2003. Other recent publications include "Moral Theory, Understanding and Disagreement", Philosophy & Phenomenological Research 55 pp. 343–356, and "Intention and Permissibility I," Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 74, pp. 301–317.

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Jun 28, 1940
Also known as
  • Thomas Michael "Tim" Scanlon
  • Thomas M. Scanlon, Jr.
  • United States of America
  • PhD, Harvard University
    (1963 - 1968)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Princeton University
    ( - 1962)
  • University of Oxford
    (1962 - 1963)
Lived in
  • Massachusetts

on July 23, 2013


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