Alistair M. Macleod

Alistair M. Macleod

Professor Emeritus


Arts and Science

People Directory Affiliation Category
  • M.A., Glasgow
  • Ph.D., Queen’s
Specializations / Research Interests

Moral, Social & Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Law


A graduate of Queen's University and the University of Glasgow, Alistair Macleod is the author of two books (Social JusticeProgressive Politics and Taxes and Paul Tillich: An Essay on the Role of Ontology in his Philosophical Theology) and many articles in such journals as AnalysisThe Canadian Journal of PhilosophyHume Studies, and The Journal of Philosophy. He has held a C.D. Howe Memorial Fellowship at the University of Oxford and a Research Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. He has also been awarded Leave Fellowships by the Canada Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. His research interests are principally in social and political philosophy and the philosophy of law. 

  • Paul Tillich: An Essay on the Role of Ontology in his Philosophical Theology, Contemporary Religious Thinkers Series, Allen & Unwin, London 1973 (Reprinted by Routledge, 2017)
  • Social Justice, Progressive Politics, and Taxes, University of Victoria, 2003
Edited Journal Issues
  • Democracy and Globalization, Special Issue of The Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol 37 No 1, 2006 (coedited with Carol Gould)
Selected Journal Articles
  • “Justice and the Market,” The Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Vol 13 No 4 (1983)
  • “Distributive Justice, Contract, and Equality,” The Journal of Philosophy, Vol 81 No 11 (1984)
  • “Equality under the Law, Efficiency, and Market-based Provision of Legal Services,” International Bar Association Publications, London, 1998
  • “Invisible Hand Arguments: Milton Friedman and Adam Smith,” The Journal of Scottish Philosophy, Vol 5 No 2 (2007)
  • “Rights and Recognition: The Case of Human Rights,” The Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol 44 Issue 1 (2013), Symposium on Rights and Recognition (with John Deigh, David Lyons, & Rex Martin)
  • “Promises and Promissory Obligations: When There is No Obligation to Keep Promises,” The Journal of Social Philosophy Vol 50 No 1 (Special 50th Anniversary Issue) (2019)
Selected Chapters in Books
  • “Equality of Opportunity,” in Moral Issues (ed. Jan Narveson), Oxford University Press, 1983
  • “Rights, Law, and Justice,” in Legal Theory Meets Legal Practice (ed. Bayefsky), Academic Printing and Publishing, Edmonton, 1988
  • “Freedom versus Equality: a False Antithesis,” in Liberty, Equality, and Pluralism (eds. May, Shonsheck & Sistare), Kansas University Press, 1997
  • “The Structure of Arguments for Human Rights,” in Universal Human Rights (eds. Mortimer Sellers & David Reidy), Rowman and Littlefield, 2005
  • “Voting without Voice: How Votes can be Counted without Counting (or Democracy and the Wasted Vote Problem,” in Democracy, Populism, and Truth (eds. Navin & Nunan), Springer, 2020
Selected Reviews and Review Essays
  • “Rawls’ Theory of Justice,” Dialogue: A Philosophical Review, 1974
  • “Amartya Sen on Human Rights in The Idea of Justice,” Special Issue on Sen’s The Idea of Justice, Philosophy and Social Criticism, 2014
Encyclopedia Entries
  • Entry on "Efficiency" in Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Law, Garland Publishing, New York 1999
Work in Progress
  • Equality of Opportunity as a Principle of Distributive Justice