Luke Robinson



I am Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

I teach courses in ethics and philosophy of law. My research is in meta-ethics and focuses primarily on the metaphysical grounds of moral obligations, on the consequences and merits of alternative accounts of those grounds, and on closely related questions about conflicts of obligation, morally relevant circumstances, and moral principles. Much of my work develops and defends a disposition-based account of moral obligation (one that is, in many ways, analogous to disposition-based accounts of causation and causal laws). On this account, moral obligations are grounded (metaphysically) in irreducibly dispositional features or properties (powers, capacities, etc.) of moral agents and patients, rather than in rules or laws of one kind or another. Roughly, the idea is that our moral obligations (and our moral rights) are grounded directly in features of us (ourselves and others), rather than in (say) rules or laws that somehow bind us to do (or not do) certain things in certain circumstances.

Before coming to SMU in 2006, I completed my PhD in Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego under the supervision of David Brink. Before that, I earned my JD at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and practiced law in the litigation department of Drinker, Biddle & Reath in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As an undergraduate, I studied History at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.


Department of Philosophy

Southern Methodist University

PO Box 750142

Dallas, TX 75275-0142