Professor of Government, Harvard University
Chair, Committee on Degrees in Social Studies
Eric Beerbohm is Professor of Government at Harvard University. His philosophical and teaching interests include democratic theory, theories of distributive justice, and the philosophy of social science. His latest book project, Gaslighting Citizens, examines how politicians can target our evidence about our evidence, and concludes that this form of manipulation raises distinctively democratic worries.
His articles include "The Democratic Limits of Political Experiments" (Politics, Philosophy, Economics), "The Ethics of Electioneering," (Journal of Political Philosophy) "The Free Provider Problem," "The Problem of Clean Hands: Negotiated Compromise in Lawmaking," (Nomos LIX: Compromise), "Must Rawlsians be Hamiltonians?" American Journal of Jurisprudence, "The Common Good: A Buck-Passing Account" (Journal of Political Philosophy), and "Is Democratic Leadership Possible?" (American Political Science Review). His book manuscript, If Elected: The Ethics of Lawmaking and Campaigning, develops a theory for lawmakers and candidates operating within a malfunctioning legislative system. What kinds of commitments, promises, and pledges can candidates make? In the “victory lab" of electoral politics, what are the ethics of the political stump? What are the moral limits of hardball in legislative politics? His first book, In Our Name: The Ethics of Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2012, 368 pp.), considers the responsibilities of citizens for the injustices of their state.
A Marshall Scholar, Truman Scholar, and Mellon Fellow in the Humanities and Social Sciences, he received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2008, B.Phil. in Philosophy from Oxford University, and BA in Political Science and the Program in Ethics in Society from Stanford University. He is a recipient of the 2012 Roslyn Abramson Award, Harvard's highest award for teaching given annually to two faculty in Arts and Sciences for "excellence and sensitivity in undergraduate teaching." He is Founding Director of the Undergraduate Fellowship Program and was Director of Graduate Fellowships from 2010-17 at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.