Our sense of what is right and just is based on what we judge to be intrinsically valuable. For centuries the leading theories of value have centered on self-interest (utility). Yet our judgments of value are structured by a different concept, unity, and along three dimensions: unity with the world, unity with others, and unity within ourselves. Leif Wenar will be writing on how morality and justice can be newly understood with unity theory as their foundation.
He will also be doing follow-up research on his recent book Blood Oil and Beyond Blood Oil (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2018). Consumers are forced to empower violent, coercive, and corrupt men abroad when they purchase products like gasoline, jewelry, and electronics. The countries that export the raw materials for these products are more likely to suffer repressive governance and conflict—and they have also been the sources of most of the West’s major foreign threats and crises for 40 years. Wenar will continue to research peaceful and feasible reforms of this destructive aspect of global trade.
Wenar received his AB from Stanford, where he worked with Stuart Hampshire and, briefly, Karl Popper. He went to Harvard to work with John Rawls and wrote his doctoral dissertation with Robert Nozick and TM Scanlon. He has been a visiting professor at Stanford and Princeton, and now holds the Chair of Philosophy and Law at King’s College London.