Current Professor

Michael Moore
CAS Professor of Law and Philosophy

Widely 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 psychoanalytic theory of dreams; legal versus psychiatric conceptions of mental illness, the unconscious, and 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 justification of punishment and, more particularly, justification and implications of retributive-oriented punishment; the nature of moral responsibility and 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 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 may be used justifiably in the war on terrorism; 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 purposes of interpreting the insurance policy on the Center limiting recovery to $3.6 billion “per occurrence.”

Professor Moore is a professor of philosophy as well as a professor of law and is codirector of the Program in Law and Philosophy at the University of Illinois. He holds one of two Walgreen Chairs, the first such universitywide chairs. He has previously held The Robert Kingsley Chair, University of Southern California; Leon Meltzer Chair, University of Pennsylvania; Mason Ladd Distinguished Visiting Professorship, University of Iowa; William Minor Lile Distinguished Visiting Professorship, University of Virginia; and Warren Distinguished Professorship, University of San Diego. He has held repeated fellowships at the Research School of the Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra; Humanities Research Institute, University of California; 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 Universit├Ąt, Germany; Lviv University, Ukraine; Stanford University; University of Kansas; Northwestern University; and University of California at Berkeley. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Law and Philosophy and serves on the editorial board or as guest editor of four other journals. Two of his books on responsibility theory have been the subject of extensive, published symposiums at the University of Pennsylvania. His next book on causation was the subject of the inaugural conference of the new Center for Law and Philosophy at the Australian National University, Canberra. Half of the recent annual meetings of the Jurisprudence Section of the American Association of Law Schools have been devoted to various aspects of his work in the philosophy of law.

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