David Boonin


David Boonin (PhD, Pittsburgh, 1992) taught at Georgetown University (1992-94) and Tulane University (1994-98) before taking up his current position at CU in 1998. He also held a visiting position for a semester as an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2006.

Professor Boonin’s interests lie in the areas of applied ethics, ethical theory, and the history of ethics. He is the author of Thomas Hobbes and the Science of Moral Virtue (Cambridge University Press 1994), A Defense of Abortion (Cambridge University Press, 2003), The Problem of Punishment (Cambridge University Press, 2008) Should Race Matter? (Cambridge University Press, 2011), The Non-Identity Problem and the Ethics of Future People (Oxford University Press, 2014) and Beyond Roe: Why Abortion Should be Legal Even if the Fetus is a Person (Oxford University Press, 2019), and Dead Wrong: The Ethics of Posthumous Harm (Oxford University Press, 2019) as well as a number of articles on such subjects as animal rights, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and our moral obligations to future generations. He is also the editor of the Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy (2018) and the Palgrave Handbook of Sexual Ethics (forthcoming) as well as the co-author and co-editor, with Graham Oddie, of the popular textbook What’s Wrong?: Applied Ethicists and Their Critics (Oxford University Press, 2004). He is currently working on a book on sexual consent and a book on AI ethics.

For more information, see Professor Boonin's CV.

selected papers

  • “Freedom and the (Posthumous) Harm Principle,” in the Oxford Handbook of Freedom (Oxford University Press, 2018)
  • “Punishment, Incarceration, and Restitution,” in Rethinking Punishment in the Era of Mass Incarceration, pp. 122-43 (Routledge, 2018)
  • "How to Solve the Non-Identity Problem," Public Affairs Quarterly 22 (2008): 127-157.
  • "How to Argue Against Active Euthanasia," Journal of Applied Philosophy , Vol. 17, No. 2, 2000, pp. 157-68.
  • "Same-Sex Marriage and the Argument From Public Disagreement," Journal of Social Philosophy (Fall 1999), pp. 251-59.
  • "Death Comes for the Violinist: On Two Objections to Thomson's Defense of Abortion," Social Theory and Practice (Vol. 23, No. 3; Fall 1997), pp. 329-64.
  • "Against the Golden Rule Argument Against Abortion," Journal of Applied Philosophy (Vol. 14, No. 2; 1997), pp. 187-97.
  • "A Defense of 'A Defense of Abortion': On the Responsibility Objection to Thomson's Argument," Ethics , Vol. 107, No. 2 (January 1997), pp.286-313. A version of this paper is reprinted in Louis P. Pojman and Francis J. Beckwith, eds., The Abortion Controversy: 25 Years After Roe v.Wade (Wadsworth: 1998).
  • "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow: Two Paradoxes About Duties to Future Generations," Philosophy and Public Affairs Vol. 25, No. 4 (Fall 1996), pp. 267- 307.
  • "Contractarianism Gone Wild: Carruthers and the Moral Status of Animals," Between the Species, Vol. 10, Nos. 1-2 (Winter/Spring 1994), pp. 39-48.
  • "Reply to Robinson," Between the Species , Vol. 10, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 52-4.
  • "Il contrattualismo selvaggio. Carruthers e lo status morale degli animali," Etica & Animali, Vol. VI, Nos. 1-2 (Primavera/Autunno 1993), pp. 34-43 (Translation into Italian of a slightly expanded version of "Contractarianism Gone Wild.")
  • "The Vegetarian Savage: Rousseau's Critique of Meat Eating," Environmental Ethics, Vol. 15, No. 1 (Spring 1993), pp. 75-84.
  • "A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing," Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 3 (September 1993), pp. 175-95.