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John Thrasher

Professional Positions

Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy & Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy, Chapman University, 2018-

Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Monash University, 2018-

Lecturer (Assistant Professor), Department of Philosophy, Monash University, 2014-2018


PhD     Philosophy       2014    University of Arizona                          
MA      Philosophy       2011    University of Arizona                          
BA       Philosophy       2004    University of Colorado, Boulder


Halliday, Daniel & John Thrasher. 2020. The Ethics of CapitalismOxford University Press.

Edited Volumes

Schmidtz, David & John Thrasher. 2013. Creating Wealth: Ethical and Economic Perspectives 2nd edition. Cognella.

Journal Articles
  1. Thrasher, John. 2020. “Agreeing to Disagree: Diversity, Political Contractualism, and the Open Society.” The Journal of Politics. 82(3): 1142-1155.
  2. Thrasher, John. 2020. “On Minimal Morality.” Analytic Philosophy. 61(1): 46-56.
  3. Thrasher, John. 2019. “Self-Ownership as Personal SovereigntySocial Philosophy & Policy. 36(2): 116-133.
  4. Thrasher, John. 2019. “Democracy Unchained: Contractualism, Individualism, and Independence in Buchanan’s Democratic Theory.” Homo Oeconomicus. 35: 25-40.
  5. Handfield, Toby & John Thrasher. 2019. “Two of a Kind: Are Norms of Honor a Species of Morality?Biology & Philosophy 34(3).
  6. Thrasher, John. 2019. “Constructivism, Representation, and Stability: Path-Dependence in Public Reason Theories of Justice.” Synthese 196(1): 429-450.
  7. Thrasher, John & Toby Handflied. 2018. “Honor and Violence: An Account of Feuds, Duels, and Honor Killings.” Human Nature 29(4):371–389.
  8. Handfield, T., John Thrasher, & Julian Garcia. 2018. “Greenbeards and Signaling: Why Morality isn’t Indispensable.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 41(e103).
  9. Thrasher, John. 2018. “Evaluating Bad Norms.” Social Philosophy & Policy. 35(1): 196-216.
  10. Thrasher John, & Kevin Vallier. 2018. “Political Stability in the Open Society.” American Journal of Political Science. 62(2):398-409.
  11. Abbink, Klaus, Lata Gangadharan, Toby Handfield, & John Thrasher. 2017. “Peer Punishment Promotes Enforcement of Bad Social Norms.” Nature Communications 8 (2017).
  12. Thrasher, John. 2016. “The Ethics of Legislative Vote Trading.Political Studies 64(3): 614-629.
  13. Thrasher, John & Kevin Vallier. 2015. “The Fragility of Consensus: Public Reason, Diversity and Stability.” The European Journal of Philosophy 23(4): 933-954.
  14. Thrasher, John. 2015. “Adam Smith and the Social Contract.” The Adam Smith Review. 8: 195-216.
  15. Thrasher, John & Keith Hankins. 2015. “When Justice Demands Inequality.” The Journal of Moral Philosophy. 12(2): 172-194. This paper has been translated into Polish as “KIEDY SPRAWIEDLIWOŚĆ DOMAGA SIĘ NIERÓWNOŚCI
  16. Thrasher, John. 2014. “Uniqueness and Symmetry in Bargaining Theories of Justice.” Philosophical Studies. 167(3): 683-699.
  17. Thrasher, John. 2014. “Ordering Anarchy.” Rationality, Markets and Morals. 5(1): 30-46.
  18. Thrasher, John. 2013. “Reconciling Justice and Pleasure in Epicurean Contractarianism.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. 16(2): 423-436.
Chapters in Edited Volumes
  1. Freiman, Chris & John Thrasher. 2019. “The Right to Own the Means of Production.” In Jahel Queralt and Bas Van Der Vossen (eds.) Economic Liberties as Human Rights. Routledge Press.
  2. Thrasher, John. 2018. “When Equality Matters.” In David Boonin (ed.) The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy. Palgrave.
  3. Thrasher, John & Gerald Gaus. 2017. “On The Calculus of Consent.” In Jacob Levy (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Classics in Contemporary Political Theory. Oxford University Press.
  4. Thrasher, John. 2017. “Social Contractarianism” In Brennan, Jason, Bas van der Vossen, & David Schmidtz (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism. Routledge.
  5. Gaus, Gerald & John Thrasher. 2015. “Rational Choice and the Original Position: The (Many) Models of Rawls and Harsanyi.” In Timothy Hinton (ed.) The Original Position. Cambridge University Press.
  6. Thrasher, John & David Schmidtz. 2015. “Bankers, Vampires, and Organ Sellers: Who Can You Trust?” In Garnett, Robert, Paul Lewis, and Lenore Ealy (eds.) Commerce and Community: Ecologies of Social Cooperation. Routledge.
  7. Schmidtz, David & John Thrasher. 2014. “The Virtues of Justice.” In Timpe, Kevin and Craig A. Boyd (eds.) Virtues and their Vices. Oxford University Press.
  8. Gaus, Gerald & John Thrasher. 2013. “Social Evolution.” In Gaus, Gerald and Fred D’Agostino The Routledge Companion to Social and Political Philosophy. Routledge.
Reference Works
  1. Halliday, Daniel & John Thrasher. Forthcoming. “Taxation.” The International  Encyclopedia of Ethics. Hugh LaFollette (ed.).
  2. D’Agostino, Fred, Gerald Gaus, and John Thrasher. 2017. “Contemporary Approaches to the Social Contract.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Book Reviews
  1. Thrasher, John. 2018. “The Price of Sociality: Review of ‘Jonathan Birch, The Philosophy of Social Evolution.’Metascience.
  2. Thrasher, John. 2014. Review of “John Tomasi, Free Market Fairness.” Public Choice 159(1-2): 309-311.
  3. Schmidtz, David and John Thrasher. 2013. Review of “Charles Tilly, Credit and Blame.” The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms. 18(7): 967.
  4. Thrasher, John. 2011. Review of “Herbert Gintis, The Bounds of Reason: Game Theory and the Unification of the Behavioral Sciences.” The Journal of Value Inquiry 45(1): 85-90.
Invited Talks and Presentations 

2019 Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan), Harvard Business School, PPE Society Meeting

2018 Texas Tech University, Monash University, PPE Society Meeting

2017 Australasian Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy (University of Sydney), PPE Society Meeting, American Philosophical Association (Pacific)

2016 Southern Economics Association, Social Philosophy & Policy, Seoul National University, Australasian Association of Philosophy, American Philosophical Association (Pacific) University of Arizona

2015 University of Melbourne, Australasian Association of Philosophy, Center for Moral, Political and Social Theory (Australian National University), American Philosophical Association (Pacific), Australian National University 

2014 New Zealand Association for Philosophy, American Philosophical Association

2013 London School of Economics, University of Utah, University of Manchester

2012 University of New Orleans

2011 Southern Economics Association, Rational Choice Contractarianism: 25 Years after Morals by Agreement (York University)


David Hume (Junior/Senior Seminar, Spring 2020
Cause, Effect, and Freedom (w/ Erik Kimbrough), Fall 2019
Utopia and Dystopia in Film and Fiction (w/ Michael Valdez-Moses), Fall 2019
Philosophy in Literature, Chapman University, Spring 2019

Games and Decisions, Chapman University, Inter-term 2019
Global Justice, Chapman University, Fall 2018
The Tragedy in Morality (w/Brennan McDavid), Chapman University, Fall 2018
Presidential Seminar (w/ Jan Osborn), Chapman University, Fall 2018
Political Philosophy, Monash University, 2014-2017
Democratic Theory, Monash University, 2015-2017
Hobbes and Spinoza (Honors Seminar), Monash University, 2017
Human Rights Theory 1 (w/ Linda Barclay), Monash University, 2017
Conventions and Norms (Honors Seminar), Monash University, 2015,2016
Moral Psychology (Honors Seminar), Monash University, 2015

Human Rights Theory 1 (w/ Robbie Arrell), Monash University, 2015,2016
Rationality and Morality (Honors Seminar), Monash University, 2014

The Social Contract, University of Arizona, 2013
The Ethics & Economics of Wealth Creation, University of Arizona, 2009   

Research Supervision

Matthew Ringenbergs (w/ Toby Handfield) HD1, Monash University, 2018-2019
Lucy Mayne (Primary) HD1, Monash University, 2016-2018
James McGuire (Primary) HD1, Monash University, 2016-2018      

Jade Popper (Completed), Monash University, 2017

Andrew Belyea-Tate (Completed),  Monash University, 2016
Lucy Mayne (Completed), Monash University, 2015

Selected Grants, Honors, And Awards

2017-2019, Discovery Project DP170102834, “Informal Sanctions and Bad Social Norms,” with Klaus Abbink, Lata Gangadharan, Toby Handfield, and David Skarbek, $231, 500,
2016, Monash Focus Program Grant, $50,000
2015, New Appointee Research Grant, $5,000
2014-2016, SoPHIS Research Grants
2015-2018, Dean’s Commendation for Early Career Researcher
2013, Fink Prize for the Most Outstanding Graduate Student                                                     

2013, University of Arizona Excellence Dissertation Fellowship
2012, Bernard Marcus Fellowship

2011, H.B. Earhart Fellowship
2010, Bernard Marcus Fellowship
2009, Thomas W. Smith Fellowship                                                                                  


2018-2020, Hiring Committee, Research Associate for Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy
2017, Council for the Humanities of the Netherlands

2016, Organization for Scientific Research External Reviewer
2015, Organizing Committee AAP Conference
2015, External Reviewer for the American Academy in Berlin,
2015-2018, SoPHIS Honors Coordinator, Monash University
2014-2018, Honors Coordinator, Monash University
2014, 2017, Project Editor, Social Philosophy and Policy
2012-2014, Assistant Editor, Social Philosophy and Policy                                                                    


Adam Smith Review, American Philosophical Quarterly, American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Analysis, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, British Journal of Political Science, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Economics & Philosophy, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Ethical Perspectives, Ergo, Erkenntniss, Japanese Journal of Political Science, Hobbes Studies, Journal of Applied Philosophy, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Journal of Economic Psychology,  Journal of Philosophical Research, Journal of Politics, Journal of Political Philosophy, Legal Theory, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Papers, Philosophical Perspectives, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, Philosophy of Science, Philosophical Studies, Philosophical Quarterly, Polish Journal of Philosophy, Polity, Public Affairs Quarterly, Ratio, Res Publica, Routledge, Social Theory and Practice. Social Philosophy & Policy, Synthese