Department of Philosophy



site header

Alistair M. Macleod

Emeritus Professor 
M.A. (Glasgow), Ph.D. (Queen's)

Specialization: Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Law 
Office: N/A 
Office Hours: N/A 
Phone: (613) 533.6000 ext. 74069 


A graduate of Queen's University and the University of Glasgow, Alistair Macleod is the author of two books (Social JusticeProgressive Politics andTaxes and Paul Tillich: An Essay on the Role of Ontology in his Philosophical Theology) and of articles, mainly in social and political philosophy, on such socio-political ideals as liberty, equality, justice, and efficiency, as well as on the ethics of markets, the rationale for rights, and the nature of rational decision-making. His articles have appeared in a variety of collections and in such journals as AnalysisThe Canadian Journal of PhilosophyHume Studies, and The Journal of Philosophy. He has been awarded Leave Fellowships by the Canada Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and he has also 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. His research interests are principally in social and political philosophy and the philosophy of law. In addition to his ongoing work on principles of distributive justice, he is pursuing projects on four (to some extent interconnected) topics: the elucidation and assessment of (legal, political, and economic) appeals to efficiency; the underpinnings of the free market account of the ideal of economic freedom (with special reference to the neoliberal version of the globalization agenda); the case for abandonment of the instrumental doctrine of practical rationality; and the morally problematic status of the duties and rights generated by such voluntary acts as promising, contracting and consenting and by voluntary commitment to institutional arrangements.