Ethics: A Journal of Moral, Political, and Social Philosophy


Founded in 1890, Ethics publishes scholarly work in moral, political, and legal philosophy from a variety of intellectual perspectives, including social and political theory, law, and economics. In addition to major articles, Ethics also publishes review essays, discussion articles, and book reviews. Having been an associate editor of Ethics from 2005-8, Dr. Richardson has served as the editor-in-chief since 2008.  During that time, he has overseen a significant reduction in turnaround time for authors, an innovative, indirect foray into online content via discussions of articles selected by the editors of the philosophy blog PEA Soup, and the publication of fifty-eight short "retrospective essays" on articles from the journal's past to celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2014-15.

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Human Development and Capability Association


The Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) is a global community of academics and practitioners that seeks to build an intellectual community around the ideas of human development and the capability approach, and relate these ideas to the policy arena. The association promotes research within many disciplines, ranging from economics to philosophy, development studies, health, education, law, government, sociology, and more. Dr. Richardson was elected president of the HDCA in 2013 for a term that runs 2014–16. Georgetown University hosted the annual meeting of the association September 11–13, 2015. The theme of that meeting was “Capabilities on the Move: Mobility and Aspirations.”  

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Normative Orders Collaborative

CO-Director, Georgetown Chapter

The Normative Orders Collaborative is an interdisciplinary and international effort in which both Georgetown University and Fudan University (Shanghai) will work with and extend the pioneering efforts of the Cluster of Excellence on the Formation of Normative Orders at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. 

Kicking off Georgetown’s contribution to this effort was the Moral Innovation Seminar, a full-year faculty and graduate student seminar that Dr. Richardson led, along with his colleague Terry Pinkard, in 2014–2015. The seminar explored how morality changes over time, in particular asking how such changes might become incorporated in what morality objectively requires.  To come:  follow-up conferences on the three campuses. 

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International Panel on Social Progress


The International Panel on Social Progress is a large-scale collaborative effort organized by an independent group of leading academics. Its aim is to provide a compendium of what the humanities and the social sciences have to offer that's useful to promoting and to assessing social progress. Its report, due in 2017, will consist of some 22 chapters on topics such as climate change, social justice, war, and democratic governance. Each chapter is being written by a different international team of about ten authors.  

The report will begin with two framing chapters, one giving an empirical overview of the state of things, the other setting out the main values and principles that should guide our thinking about social progress. Dr. Richardson is one of the two Coordinating Lead Authors of the latter, "compass-setting" chapter, the other being Dr. Erik Schokkaert of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

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