Lionel K. McPherson

Contact Info:
Tufts University
Department of Philosophy
Miner Hall, Room 221A
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617.627.2346
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Associate Professor

Ethics, Political and Social philosophy

Prof. McPherson co-directs the Certificate Program in Ethics, Law and Society.

Lionel K. McPherson received his PhD in philosophy from Harvard University and graduated summa cum laude with an AB in philosophy from Princeton University. His research interests include normativity, the basis and extent of obligations, war and terrorism, and race. Between philosophy schoolings, he worked at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) and wrote arts criticism. His interests outside of philosophy include film, music, and sports.

Ph.D., Harvard University
AB, Princeton University

Selected Publications

  • "The Costs of Violence: Militarism, Geopolitics, and Accountability," in To Shape a New World: The Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr., eds. Tommie Shelby and Brandon Terry (Harvard UP, 2018).
  • "The Moral Problem of Individual Self-Defense in War," in Cambridge Handbook of Just War Theory, ed. Larry May (Cambridge UP, 2018).
  • "The Blackness of African American Identity," in Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race, ed. Naomi Zack (Oxford UP, 2016).
  • "Deflating 'Race'," Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2015): 674–93.
  • "Non-Egalitarian Global Fairness" (with Erin Kelly), in Thomas Pogge and His Critics, ed. Alison M. Jaggar (Polity, 2010).
  • "Normativity and the Rejection of Rationalism," Journal of Philosophy 104 (2007): 55-70.
  • "Blackness and Blood: Interpreting African American Identity" (with Tommie Shelby), Philosophy & Public Affairs 32 (2004): 171-192.
  • "Innocence and Responsibility in War," Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (2004): 485-506.
  • "The Moral Insignificance of 'Bare' Personal Reasons," Philosophical Studies 110 (2002): 29-47.
  • "On Tolerating the Unreasonable" (with Erin Kelly), Journal of Political Philosophy 9 (2001): 38-55.