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Neera Badhwar

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Neera K. Badhwar

Professor Emeritus
Affiliated with the Department of Philosophy, George Mason University
Senior Fellow, Philosophy, Politics, & Economics Program, Department of Economics, George Mason University

Ph.D., Toronto
Research areas: Ethics, Moral Psychology, Political Philosophy, International Ethics


Most of my work to date has been on topics in Ethical Theory and Moral Psychology: friendship, virtue ethics, self-interest and altruism, and well-being (Well-Being: Happiness in a Worthwhile Life (OUP 2014). Recently I’ve also been working on issues in Social-Political Philosophy, such as the ethics of kidney sales, virtue ethics and libertarianism, the moral foundations of market societies, and virtue and entrepreneurship.

Selected Awards

  • Laurance S. Rockefeller Fellowship, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, 1996-97. 
  • NEH Distinguished Visiting Professor, SUNY Potsdam, Fall 1999. 
  • Visiting Scholar, Social Philosophy and Policy Center, Spring 2008. 
  • Earhart Foundation Fellowship, 2010.

Selected Publications

  • ”Virtue Ethics and Libertarianism,” forthcoming in eds. B. Ferguson and M. Zwolinski, The Routledge Companion to Libertarianism, 2021.
  • ”Love and Friendship: Achieving Happiness in Jane Austen’s Emma” (with E.M. Dadlez), ed. E.M. Dadlez, Jane Austen’s Emma: Philosophical Perspectives (Oxford University Press, May 2018) (pdf)
  • "Aristotle on the Love of Friends” (with Russell E. Jones), eds. C. Grau and A. Smuts. The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Love. Online Publication Date: Oct 2017, DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199395729.013.22
  • "Justice Within the Limits of Human Nature Alone," Social Philosophy and Policy, Vol. 33, 1-2, October 2016, 193-213. (Abstract and DOI: .docx)
  • Well-Being: Happiness in a Worthwhile Life (Oxford University Press, June 2014). (.docx)
  • "Reasoning about Wrong Reasons, No Reasons, and Reasons of Virtue," The Philosophy and Psychology of Character and Happiness, ed. Nancy E. Snow and Franco V. Trivigno (Routledge, June 2014): 34-53. (.pdf)
  • "Kidneys, Commerce, and Communities," in Commerce and Community, ed. Rob Garnett, Lenore Ealy, Paul Lewis (Routledge, July 2014). (.docx)
  • "Objectivity and Subjectivity in Theories of Well-being," Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly, Vol 32, No. 1 (Spring 2014). (.pdf)
  • "Moral Character," International Encyclopedia of Ethics, (John Wiley & Sons, 2012), 1-19 in page-proofs. (.pdf)
  • "The Milgram Experiments, Learned Helplessness, and Character Traits,"Journal of Ethics (special issue on Situationism), June 2009, 1-33 (online at; 257-289 (printed).
  • "Is Realism Really Bad for You? A Realistic Response," The Journal of Philosophy, V. CV, No. 2, February 2008, 85-107.
  • "Friendship and Commercial Societies," Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, August 2008, V. 7, No. 3, 301-326.
  • "Carnal Wisdom and Sexual Virtue," in Raja Halwani ed., Sex and Ethics: Essays on Sexuality, Virtue, and the Good Life (Palgrave MacMillan, 2007), 134-46. (.pdf)
  • "Experiments in Living," The Philosophers’ Magazine (the Mill bicentenary issue), Issue 35, 3rd quarter (2006), 58-61. (.doc)
  • "International Aid: When Giving Becomes a Vice," Social Philosophy and Policy, issue on Justice and Global Politics, Vol. 23, Winter 2006, and in E. Paul, J. Paul, and F. Miller, eds. Justice and Global Politics (Cambridge University Press), 69-101. (.doc)
  • "Friendship and Sexuality," in Alan Soble, ed. Sex from Plato to Paglia: A Philosophical Encyclopedia; 2005, 390-97. (.doc)
  • "Love," in Hugh LaFollete, ed. Oxford Handbook of Practical Ethics (OUP, 2003), pp. 42-69.
  • "Friendship," Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Routledge, 1998), 5,046 words (online). (.doc)
  • "Moral Agency, Commitment, and Impartiality," Social Philosophy and Policy, Vol. 13, 1996, 1-26, and in Community, Individual, and the State, ed. E. Paul (Cambridge University Press). (.doc)
  • "The Nature and Significance of Friendship," in N. Badhwar, ed. Friendship: A Philosophical Reader (Cornell Univ. Press, 1993), pp. 1-36. (.doc)
  • "Altruism vs Self-Interest: Sometimes a False Dichotomy," Social Philosophy and Policy, V. 10, Jan. 1993, pp. 90-117 and in Altruism, ed. E. F. Paul (Cambridge University Press, 1993). (.doc)
  • "The Circumstances of Justice: Liberalism, Community, and Friendship" (pp. 208-34), Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol. I, June 1993. (.doc)
  • "Why It's Wrong to be Always Guided by the Best: Friendship and Consequentialism," Ethics, April 1991, pp. 483-504. (.doc)