Michael Moore

CAS Professor of Law and Philosophy

Moore M imageWidely regarded as one of the leading legal theorists of his generation, Professor Moore has broad research interests across many fields and several disciplines. Among the topics he has addressed in his numerous books and papers have been: the challenges of contemporary neuroscience to our self-conception; the psychoanalytic theory of dreams; legal versus psychiatric conceptions of mental illness; the unconscious and the boundaries and the unity of the self; the nature of interpretation, both in law and in other hermeneutic disciplines; the objectivity of moral judgment; the general shape of moral norms, both of obligation and of permission; the nature of moral rights; the justification of punishment and, more particularly, justification and implications of retributive-oriented punishment; the nature of moral responsibility and the nature of the natural properties (intention, action, and causation) on which such responsibility is commonly thought to rest; and the nature of liberty, both by itself and as a limit on coercive legislation in a just state. His research includes application of his more abstract theories to concrete issues in our political/legal life, such as whether torture or assassination may be used justifiably in the war on terrorism; whether the Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik was rightly found to be sane and responsible; whether addiction is an excuse; whether the death penalty has been imposed justly in certain well-known cases; whether certain judicial nominees have been apt candidates for high-court positions; whether the legal prohibition on recreational use of certain drugs can be justified; and whether the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, was one or two events for insurance purposes.

In addition to his CAS appointment, Professor Moore is a Professor of Law, Co-Director of the Program in Law and Philosophy, and for many years until recently, Professor of Philosophy, at the University of Illinois. He also holds the Walgreen Chair, the first and only university-wide chair at the University. He has previously held the Robert Kingsley Chair, University of Southern California; Leon Meltzer Chair, University of Pennsylvania; Mason Ladd Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the College of Law and Visiting Professor of Medicine at the School of Medicine, University of Iowa; William Minor Lile Distinguished Visiting Professorship, University of Virginia; Florence Rogatz Visiting Professorship at Yale University; and Warren Distinguished Professorship, University of San Diego. He has held repeated fellowships at the Research School of the Social Sciences, and the Fleming Centre for Advanced Legal Research, both at the Australian National University, Canberra; Biology Department, University of Pennsylvania; Humanities Research Institute, University of California; Georgetown University Law Center; and Law and Humanities Program, Harvard University. He has also held faculty positions at Tel Aviv University, Israel; Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Argentina; Erlangen-Nurmberg Universität, Germany; Lviv University, Ukraine; Stanford University; University of Kansas; Northwestern University; and University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of eight books, the most recent—Mechanical Choices: The Responsibility of the Human Machine—being published in 2020 by Oxford University Press on the topic of neuroscience and responsibility.

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