I am a Lecturer in Philosophy who joined the Monash philosophy department in 2014. Before that, I was at the University of Arizona.
I specialize in political philosophy, normative ethics, and decision theory. My research focuses on the relation of individual practical rationality to social rules as well as the way those rules are organized into systems of norms and institutions. I am especially interested in how recent work in moral psychology and experimental economics can inform our understanding of how to improve our institutions of self-governance.
Recently I have also been working with my colleague Toby Handfield in philosophy and several collaborators in Economics including Lata Gangadharanon, Klaus Abbink, and Erte Xiao on how “bad norms” like norms of anti-social punishment and honor codes develop, stabilize, and change. I am also working on a project with Vernon Smith, Bart Wilson, Keith Hankins, and Toby Handfield on “rationality and norms.” Past collaborators include Gerald Gaus, David Schmidtz, Kevin Vallier, and Keith Hankins.
My work has been published in Philosophical Studies, The Journal of Moral Philosophy, Political Studies, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, The European Journal of Philosophy, The Adam Smith Review, and in several edited volumes. Some of my recent publications can be found here. I have also written about bargaining theory, the social contract, democratic theory, public reason, egalitarianism, justice, Epicurean political theory, Adam Smith, and social evolution.
For more information, see my personal website www.JohnJThrasher.com