Research Workshop: "Five Roles of the Political Philosopher"

Andrew Stewart (USC)

Friday, November 19th, 2021 (12:10-2:00 PM) English (Bldg. 22) Room 210


In this talk, I do two main things. First, I argue that political philosophers are subject to special moral reasons in virtue of being political philosophers. Roughly, this is because they work with the concept of justice in unjust conditions in a way that risks significant harm to others. This raises the stakes of theorizing and suggests that political philosophers should make themselves able to provide minimal justification of their activity to their fellow citizens. Then, I defend a conception of the role of the political philosopher that takes these moral reasons into account. I conceive of political philosophers not just as theorists of justice, legitimacy, and other political concepts, but also as world-builders, storytellers, teachers, and citizens. All five roles are prominent in the history of political thought, although the last four are often neglected in contemporary analytic political philosophy. I argue that Quintuple Orientation is comparatively better positioned to be interpersonally justifiable.


Andrew Stewart is a philosophy Ph.D. candidate at the University of Southern California. His primary research interests are in political philosophy, ethics (including metaethics and applied ethics), and the history of political thought. He is also interested in the history of modern philosophy and metaphilosophy. As an undergraduate, he studied philosophy and political science at Kenyon College.

Here is a link to Andrew's website:


The talk will be in person in English (bldg. 22) Room 210 and available through Zoom. The Zoom link is available on the Philosophy Major and Minor Canvas site.

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