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John Thrasher

USA Citizen | Australian Permanent Resident

Professional Positions

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

Research Associate, 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

Edited Volumes

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


Thrasher, John. Forthcoming. “Self-Ownership as Personal SovereigntySocial Philosophy & Policy.

Thrasher, John. Forthcoming. “Constructivism, Representation, and Stability: Path-Dependence in Public Reason Theories of Justice.” Synthese

Freiman, Chris and John Thrasher. Forthcoming. “The Right to Own the Means of Production.” In Jahel Queralt and Bas Van Der Vossen (eds.) Economic Liberties as Human Rights. Routledge Press.

Thrasher, John and Toby Handflied. 2018. “Honor and Violence: An Account of Feuds, Duels, and Honor Killings.” Human Nature 29(4):371–389.

Handfield, T., John Thrasher, and Julian Garcia. 2018. “Greenbeards and Signaling: Why Morality isn’t Indispensable.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 41(e103).

Thrasher, John. 2018. “Evaluating Bad Norms.” Social Philosophy & Policy. 35(1): 196-216.

Thrasher John, and Kevin Vallier. 2018. “Political Stability in the Open Society.” American Journal of Political Science. 62(2):398-409.

Thrasher, John. 2018. “When Equality Matters.” In David Boonin (ed.) The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy. Palgrave.

Abbink, Klaus, Lata Gangadharan, Toby Handfield, and John Thrasher. 2017. “Peer Punishment Promotes Enforcement of Bad Social Norms.” Nature Communications 8 (2017).

D’Agostino, Fred, Gerald Gaus, and John Thrasher. 2017. “Contemporary Approaches to the Social Contract.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Thrasher, John and Gerald Gaus. 2017. “On The Calculus of Consent.” In Jacob Levy (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Classics in Contemporary Political Theory. Oxford University Press.

Thrasher, John. 2017. “Social Contractarianism” In Brennan, Jason, Bas van der Vossen, and David Schmidtz (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism. Routledge.

Thrasher, John. 2016. “The Ethics of Legislative Vote Trading.Political Studies 64(3): 614-629.

Thrasher, John and Kevin Vallier. 2015. “The Fragility of Consensus: Public Reason, Diversity and Stability.” The European Journal of Philosophy 23(4): 933-954.

Thrasher, John. 2015. “Adam Smith and the Social Contract.” The Adam Smith Review. 8: 195-216.

Thrasher, John and Keith Hankins. 2015. “When Justice Demands Inequality.” The Journal of Moral Philosophy. 12(2): 172-194

Gaus, Gerald and 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.

Thrasher, John and 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.

Thrasher, John. 2014. “Uniqueness and Symmetry in Bargaining Theories of Justice.” Philosophical Studies. 167(3): 683-699.

Schmidtz, David and John Thrasher. 2014. “The Virtues of Justice.” In Timpe, Kevin and Craig A. Boyd (eds.) Virtues and their Vices. Oxford University Press.

Thrasher, John. 2014. “Ordering Anarchy.” Rationality, Markets and Morals. 5(1): 30-46.

Thrasher, John. 2013. “Reconciling Justice and Pleasure in Epicurean Contractarianism.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. 16(2): 423-436.

Gaus, Gerald and John Thrasher. 2013. “Social Evolution.” In Gaus, Gerald and Fred D’Agostino The Routledge Companion to Social and Political Philosophy. Routledge.

Book Reviews

Thrasher, John. 2018. “The Price of Sociality: Review of ‘Jonathan Birch, The Philosophy of Social Evolution.’Metascience.

Thrasher, John. 2014. Review of “John Tomasi, Free Market Fairness.” Public Choice 159(1-2): 309-311.

Schmidtz, David and John Thrasher. 2013. Review of “Charles Tilly, Credit and Blame.” The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms. 18(7): 967.

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.

Selected Presentations

“The Invisible Contract: Agreement and Spontaneous Order in Social Life” Texas Tech University, (Planned) 2019.

“Moral Points of View,” Monash University, Melbourne Australia, 2018.

“Democracy Against Populism” (with Michael Munger), PPE Society Meeting, New Orleans, 2018.

“Adam Smith, Contractarian,” Deviant Thinking: Early Modern Philosophy and the Enlightenment, Australasian Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy, University of Sydney, Australia, 2017.

“Bargaining and the Social Contract: A Reorientation,” PPE Society Meeting, New Orleans, 2017.

“The Justice of Strategy,” American Philosophical Association, Pacific, Seattle, 2017.

“Honor and Violence,” Southern Economics Association, Washington, D.C., 2016.

“Evaluating Bad Norms,” Social Philosophy and Policy Conference, Tucson, Arizona, 2016.

“Constructivism, Representation, and Stability,” Conference on Contemporary Philosophy in East Asia (CCPEA), Seoul, Republic of Korea, 2016.

“Paths to Justice: Inconsistent Choice in the Original Position,” Australasian Association of Philosophy, 2016.

“Agreeing to Disagree: The Promise of Contractual Liberalism,” American Philosophical Association Pacific, San Francisco, 2016.

“Norms of Honor,” The University of Arizona, 2016.

“Representation and Democracy,” University of Melbourne, Australia, 2015.

“Self-Ownership and Personal Sovereignty,” Australasian Association of Philosophy, Macquarie University, Sydney Australia, 2015.

“Self-Ownership: Not Just for Libertarians,” Center for Moral, Political and Social Theory (CMPST), Australian National University, Canberra Australia, 2015.

“Rationality, Uniqueness and the Social Contract,” Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 2015.

“Impartiality, Rationality, and the Social Contract,” American Philosophical Association, Pacific, Vancouver Canada, 2015.

“Stability and the Price of Compliance,” New Zealand Association for Philosophy, University of Canterbury, Christchurch New Zealand, 2014.

“Backing into Self-Ownership,” American Philosophical Association, Pacific, San Diego, 2014.

“Equality and Justice,” University of New Orleans, 2012.

“Markets and Fairness,” Southern Economics Association, New Orleans, 2012

“Rule-Following: Constraints and Objectives,” Southern Economics Association, Washington D.C., 2011.

“Moral Theory for Adults,” Rational Choice Contractarianism: 25 Years After Morals By Agreement, York University, Toronto Canada, 2011.


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
Human Rights Theory 1 (w/ Linda Barclay), Monash University, 2017
Human Rights Theory 1 (w/ Robbie Arrell), Monash University, 2015,2016
The Social Contract, University of Arizona, 2013
The Ethics & Economics of Wealth Creation, University of Arizona, 2009   

Hobbes and Spinoza (Honors Seminar), Monash University, 2017
Conventions and Norms (Honors Seminar), Monash University, 2015,2016
Moral Psychology (Honors Seminar), Monash University, 2015
Rationality and Morality (Honors Seminar), Monash University, 2014

Research Supervision

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                                                                                  


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, British Journal of Political Science, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Ethical Perspectives, Erkenntniss, Hobbes Studies, Journal of Applied Philosophy, Journal of Philosophical Research, Journal of Political Philosophy, 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