Photo of Harry Brighouse
Professor Harry Brighouse

Crest of UW-Madison
Department of Philosophy
Department of Education Policy Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison




Curriculum Vitae

Papers on the Web

Crooked Timber


Recommended Links

Link to EPS Webpage

Email Me



Curriculum Vitae

Address: 5119 Helen C White Hall, 600 N Park St, Madison, WI 53706, USA

Education: Ph.D. Philosophy University of Southern California, 1991; B.A. (First Class Honours) Philosophy, University of London (Kings College), 1985.

Current Position: University of Wisconsin-Madison: 1992-1998 Assistant Professor of Philosophy; 1998-2000 Associate Professor of Philosophy; 2000-present Professor of Philosophy.

Previous Positions: Institute of Education, University of London: 2000-2002 Professor of Philosophy of Education, and Head of Philosophy Section; Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Davis. (July 1991 July 1992).


  • Carnegie Scholar 2004 ($78k grant awarded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York for project entitled ‘Educational Justice and Institutional Reform’ over period Jan 2005-Oct 2006).
  • Romnes Fellowship at UW Madison, 2002-2007.
  • Vilas Associate at U.W. Madison, 1999-2001.
  • Young Scholar at Program in Ethics and Public Life at Cornell University (Spring 1998).
  • Lilly Teaching Fellowship 1996-7 (U.W. Graduate School).



Articles and Chapters:

  • (with Adam Swift) "Parents' Rights and the Value of the Family" Ethics (forthcoming, October 2006).
  • (with Elaine Unterhalter) “Primary Goods, Capabilities, and the millennium development target for gender equity in education” in Flavio Comin and Martha Nussbaum (eds.), Capabilities, Gender, Equality: toward fundamental entitlements (Cambridge University Press forthcoming).
  • “Grade Inflation: What’s All the Fuss About?” in Lester Hunt and Deborah Hunt (eds.) Academic Standards and Grade Inflation (SUNY Press, forthcoming).
  • “Schooling in a Socialist Society” in Anatole Anton and Richard Schmidt (eds) The Idea of Socialism (Lexington, forthcoming).
  • “Educational Equality and the Varieties of School Choice” in Walter Feinberg & Christopher Lubienski (eds.),  School Choice Policies and Outcomes: Philosophical and Empirical Perspectives on Limits to Choice in Liberal Democracies  (SUNY Press, forthcoming).
  • (with Adam Swift) “Egalitarianism” in Steven Durlauf and Larry Blume (eds.) The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics (2nd edn) (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).
  • “Justifying Patriotism” Social Theory and Practice 32, 4 (October 2006): 547-558.
  • (with Adam Swift) "Equality, Priority, and Positional Goods", Ethics (2006) 116, 3: 471-497.
  • “Levelling the Playing Field: Subsidizing Higher Education”, Theory and Research in Education 4, 2 (2006): 175-184
  • Why is an Argument Clinic Less Silly than an Abuse Clinic or a Contradiction Clinic?” in Gary Hardcastle and George Reisch (eds) Monty Python and Philosophy (Open Court) pp.53-64.
  • “Channel One, the Anti-Commercial Principle, and the Discontinuous Ethos”, Educational Policy 19 (2005): 528-549.(Reprinted in Randall R Curren (ed) The Blackwell Anthology of Philosophy of Education (Blackwell, forthcoming))
  • “Funding Religious Schools”, Philosophy of Education (2005)
  • "Faith Schools in the UK: an unenthusiastic defence of a slightly reformed status quo", in Roy Gardner et. al., (eds.) Faith Schools: Consensus or Conflict? (London: RoutledgeFalmer, 2005).
  • “Paying for Higher Education” Ethique et Economique 2, 2 (2004).
  • “What’s Wrong with Privatising Schools?” Journal of Philosophy of Education 38, 4 (2004): 617-631.
  • “Learning by Example”, New Economy vol. 10, no. 4 (2003): pp 230-233.
  • “How Should Children be Heard?” Arizona Law Review vol. 45, no 3 (2003): pp 691-711.
  • "Should We Teach Patriotic History?" in Kevin McDonough and Walter Feinberg (eds), Cosmopolitan Values and Collective Identities, (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2003), pp.157-175. (Reprinted in Randall R Curren (ed) The Blackwell Anthology of Philosophy of Education (Blackwell, forthcoming))
  • "How Dumb is Educational Research?", Educational Research 45, 2 (2003), 129-133.
  • (With Adam Swift) “Defending Liberalism in Education Theory and Policy”, Journal of Education Policy vol. 18, no. 3 (2003), 377-395.
  • "Justice and Educational Equality" in Randall R Curren (ed), Blackwell Companion to Philosophy of Education (Basil Blackwell 2003), pp. 471-486.
  • "Against Privatizing Schools in the UK", London Review of Education, vol. 1, 1 (2003), 35-46.
  • "Egalitarian Liberalism and Justice in Education", Political Quarterly, vol 73, no.2, 2002, pp 181-190
  • "Rethinking Liberal Education: Choice, Discovery, and Judgment" , The School Field, vol. XIII, no. 3/4 (2002), 43-59.
  • “Defending School Choice Modestly”, Journal of Philosophy of Education , vol. 36, no 4 (2002) 653-660.
  • (with Erik Olin Wright) "Complex Egalitarianism: a review of Alex Callinicos, Equality", Historical Materialism vol. 10, no. 1 (2002), 193-222.
  • "What Rights (if any) Do Children Have?" in David Archard and Colin MacLeod eds, The Moral and Political Status of Children (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 31-52
  • (with Alison Kirton) "Compulsory Citizenship Education in England: Problems and Prospects," Delta 53, 1&2 (2001): 61-78.
  • "School Vouchers, Personal Autonomy, and the Separation of Church and State" , NOMOS, vol XLIII, Moral and Political Education, eds. Steven Macedo and Yael Tamir (New York University Press, 2001).
  • "Dworkin on Democracy", Imprints: A journal of analytical socialism, vol. 5, no. 3, 2001, pp.237-250.
  • "Democracy and Inequality", in April Carter and Geoff Stokes eds., Democratic Theory Today (Polity Press, 2001), pp. 52-72.
  • "Can Justice as Fairness Accommodate Persons With Disabilities?", Social Theory and Practice, vol. 27, no 4, 2001, pp 537-560.
  • "School Choice and Social Justice: a response to Critics", Studies in Philosophy and Education, vol. 20, no 5 , 2001, pp. 409-421 (Following critiques presented by Randall Curren, Eamonn Callan, and Walter Feinberg in same volume pp.387-409).
  • "Interview with Harry Brighouse" conducted by Mitja Sardoe and Michael Shaughnessy, in The School Field vol XII, nos1-2, 2001, pp. 117-137. Translated as ‘Liberalismo e politica da educacao publica: entrevista com Harry Brighouse’ in Filosofia, Educacao e Politica (eds Michael Shaughnessy et. al. (Rio de Janiero: DP&A editora 2003) pp. 13-44.
  • " Liberalism, Autonomy, and the Prevalence of Evil", The Good Society vol. 9, no. 2, 1999, pp.72-74.
  • "Civic Education and Liberal Legitimacy", Ethics, vol. 108, no. 4, July 1998, pp. 719-745.
  • "Against Nationalism", Canadian Journal of Philosophy Supplementary Volume 22, 1996 (Published 1998), pp. 365-405
  • "School Choice: Some Theoretical Considerations", in Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis et. al. Recasting Egalitarianism: New Rules for Equity and Accountability Through Markets, Communities, and Governments (London: Verso, 1998), pp.141-180 (much expanded and revised version of "Liberal Egalitarians and School Choice").
  • "Why Should States Fund Schools?" British Journal of Educational Studies, vol. 46, no. 1, June 1998, pp. 138-152.
  • "Two Philosophical Errors Concerning School Choice", Oxford Review of Education, vol. 23, no. 4, December 1997, pp. 503-510.
  • "Political Equality in Justice as Fairness", Philosophical Studies, vol. 86, no. 2, May 1997, pp. 155-184.
  • "Liberal Egalitarians and School Choice", Politics and Society, vol. 24, no. 4, December 1996, pp. 457-486.
  • "Should Marxists Care About Alienation?", Topoi, vol. 15, no. 2, September 1996, pp. 149-162.
  • "Is There A Neutral Justification For Liberalism?", Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 77, no. 3, September 1996, pp. 193-215.
  • "Egalitarianism and Equal Availability of Political Influence", Journal of Political Philosophy, vol. 4, no. 2, June 1996, pp. 118-141.
  • "In Defence of Educational Equality", Journal of Philosophy of Education, vol. 29, no. 3, November 1995, pp. 415-420.
  • "Political Equality and the Funding of Political Speech", Social Theory and Practice, vol. 21, no. 3, Fall 1995, pp. 473-500.
  • "Neutrality, Publicity, and State Funding of the Arts", Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol. 24, no. 1, Spring 1995, pp. 36-63.
  • "Is There Any Such Thing As Political Liberalism?", Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 75, nos. 3&4, September/December 1994, pp. 318-332.
  • "Transitional and Utopian Market Socialism", Politics and Society, vol. 22, no. 4, December 1994, pp. 569-584. (Revised and expanded version published in John Roemer Equal Shares (London: Verso, 1996), pp. 187-208).
  • "The Egalitarian Virtues of Educational Vouchers", Journal of Philosophy of Education, vol. 28, no. 2, December 1994, pp. 211-219.
  • "Blackburn's Projectivism - An Objection", Philosophical Studies, vol. 59, no. 2, June 1990, pp. 225-233.

Recent Book Reviews:

  • Children, Family, and The State by David Archard in Journal of Value Inquiry (forthcoming)
  • Liberal Pluralism by William Galston in Philosophical Review (forthcoming).
  • Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Education by Rob Reich in Journal of Philosophy of Education vol. 37, no. 3 (2003), 538-544.
  • Education in a Post-Welfare Society by Sally Tomlinson, in Renewal (forthcoming).
  • Exploitation by Alan Wertheimer, in Ethics ( 2000) 110, 2; pp. 448-450.
  • Critical Moral Liberalism by Jeffrey Reiman, in The Philosophical Review (1 999) 108, 3; pp. 442-5.
  • Against Capitalism by David Schweickart, in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 1997. Vol. 554; p. 213-215
  • Choosing Justice by Norman Frohlich and Robert A. Oppenheimer, in Economics and Philosophy, vol. 10, no. 1, 1994, pp. 127-133.

Recent Newspaper/Magazine/Web Articles:

  • ‘Is Evidence Enough?: why values and context matter in education policymaking’, Education Week (US) Sept 27th 2006
  • ‘Barbarians eat into our lunch break’, Times Educational Supplement (UK) August 4th 2006
  • ‘Silence the grade whingers forever’, Times Educational Supplement ( UK ) June 23rd 2006
  • ‘Charter for choice? Its really no choice at all’ Times Educational Supplement ( UK ) May 12 2006
  • ‘Blame it on the puritans’, Times Educational Supplement (UK) March 10th 2006
  • ‘Myths of black and white results gap’ Times Educational Supplement (UK) March 10th 2006
  • ‘Bush goes bananas in the monkey wars’, Times Educational Supplement (UK) December 23rd 2005
  • ‘Schools for the enlightenment or epiphany?’ Times Higher Education Supplement (UK) December 23rd 2005
  • ‘Sentimental myths harm our history’ Times Educational Supplement (UK) Nov 18th 2005
  • ‘Mind the holiday gap’, Times Educational Supplement (UK) Sept 16th 2005
  • ‘ Birth of educational equality in the US’, Times Educational Supplement (UK) May 20th 2005
  • ‘America: One nation now divided by God’ Times Educational Supplement (UK) April 15th 2005
  • ‘Ideas that go beyond belief’, Times Educational Supplement (UK) Feb 25th 2005
  • Don't let ads poison children's minds’, Times Educational Supplement (UK) Feb 11th 2005 (March 25th in Scottish edition)
  • ‘Bush’s Left Turn for Education’, Times Educational Supplement (UK) Nov 8th, 2004
  • ‘Why I Have Faith in Religious Schools’, Times Educational Supplement (UK) Oct 22nd, 2004.
  • ‘Schools should not put blame for achievement gap on staff’, The Capital Times (Madison) Sept 29th, 2004.
  • ‘Can comprehensive schools really work?’, Times Educational Supplement (UK) Aug 27th, 2004.
  • ‘You Can’t Get a Cut-Price Eton’ New Statesman (UK) Jan 12th, 2004.
  • ‘Tricks for Social Mobility’, Times Educational Supplement (UK) Oct 4th, 2003
  • ‘Educational Equality and Targeting Resources’, Learning and Skills Research Journal (a publication of the UK Department for Education and Skills, Summer 2003).


Some Recent Lectures:

  • "Values and Evaluation in Education Reform", The Annual Frank L Bixby Lecture, Spencer Foundation, Chicago, October 25th 2006
  • "Varieties of School Choice?", University of Illinois, March 2006

  • "Family Values and Legitimate Parental Partiality", Department of Philosophy, MIT, March 2006

  • "Educational Equality, Parental Rights, and Benefitting the Least Advantaged", Graduate School of Education, Stanford University, Dec 5th 2005

  •  "Equality, Priority and Positional Goods", Moral Sciences Club, University of Cambridge, Nov 9th 2005

  • "Some responses to some objections to luck egalitarianism", Centre for the Study of Social Justice, Oxford University, November 8, 2005.

  • "Are Children's Rights Human Rights" Keynote address to Human Rights Education Conference: Theoretical and Practical Considerations for the 21st Century, Roehampton University (UK), June 18th 2005

  • "Education and Social Justice" University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, May 9th, 2005.

  • "Parental Partiality: Legitimate and Excessive"University Center for Human Values, Princeton University . March 31st, 2005

  • "Levelling the Playing Field" Philosophy of Education Society Annual Conference, San Francisco, March 19th 2005

  • "Equality, Priority, and Positional Goods", Queens University (Kingston, Canada) Feb 10th 2005

  • “Primary Goods and Capabilities” APSA, Chicago, Sept 3rd 2004
  • “Against Partiality to Compatriots” APSA Chicago, Sept 2nd 2004
  • “Vouchers, Choice, and Equity”, Vouchers and Smart Cards Conference organised by the Social Market Foundation, April 5th 2004, London
  • “Funding Religious Schools”, Philosophy of Education Society Annual Conference, Toronto Canada, March 29th 2004
  • “Parents and Children”, The Mark Bunting Memorial Lecture, Department of Philosophy, Queens University, Canada, March 25th 2004
  • ‘Why might Socio-Economic Segregation Matter?’ at a conference on educational segregation organised by Reseau pour l’Analyse des Politiques Publiques en Education (RAPPE), at Sciences Po, Paris, France, December 12-13th 2003.
  • ‘Does grade inflation matter?’ at Conference on Academic Standards and Grade Inflation sponsored by the Wisconsin Association of Scholars, October 11th 2003.
  • ‘Technology and the Levelling Down Objection” at the Conference on Education and the New Technology, held jointly between the UW Madison School of Education, University of Melbourne School of Education, and the London Institute of Education, at UW Madison, October 3-5th 2003.
  • ‘How schools might overcome disadvantage’; response to David Miliband (UK Government Minister of Schools) at Conference on Social Mobility, sponsored by the Institute for Public Policy Research, Newcastle, UK, Sept 6-7 2003
  • ‘Liberal Theory and Education Policy’, American Education Research Association, Chicago, April 21-25th, 2002
  • "Democracy, Religion, and Schools" at conference on "Deliberative Democracy: Theory and Practice", funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, in association with the Centre de recherche en ééthique de l'Universitéé de Montrééal, Montreal, April 10-14 2003
  • " Real Utopias in Education" , A Centenary Event at the Institute of Education, London, March 21 st 2003
  • "Have Children a Right to be Heard?" , Conference on Youth, Voice and Power sponsored by the Rogers Program in Law, Philosophy and Social Inquiry at the University of Arizona, Tuscon, School of Law. October 12-14th 2002.
  • "The Significance of Positionality for Justice", Nuffield Political Theory Workshop, Nuffield College Oxford, May 20th 2002.
  • "Liberalism, Families, and Personal Autonomy", Keynote address at Graduate Conference on Political Theory, University of Warwick, May 4 th 2002.
  • "A level Playing Field" , Independent Schools Conference, Brighton College, Brighton, May 1 st, 2002
  • "On the fair allocation of power in economic institutions", workshop on Power and Economic Institutions, Department of Economics, University of the Louvain, Belgium, April 19 th 2002.
  • "The Ethics of Private Schooling", Conference on Private Schools: the Best Chance for the Poor, Institute of Economic Affairs/EG West Institute, London, March 16th, 2002.