I received my PhD in philosophy at the University of Wisconsin in the spring of 2011 under the advisorship of Daniel Hausman. My dissertation is titled: On the Moral and Legal Alienation of Sexual Rights, Reproductive Rights, and Rights to Bodily Organs. I joined the philosophy faculty at the University of Connecticut that fall.
I live in a little house that is practically on campus, walk to Manchester Hall and back each day, and do a lot of my thinking in the woods. When I am not doing philosophy, I like to hike, spend time with my two cats, watch British period dramas, and play euchre with my grad students. I like to do all of these things while talking philosophy too (except maybe the British period dramas...).
I love living and working at the University of Connecticut, but I also enjoy traveling and attending philosophy conferences. I was on research leave in the spring of 2013, and spent that semester as a visiting scholar first at the University of Melbourne and then at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. There are a few conferences (stateside) that I especially love and make a point of attending frequently, if not each year. Among them are: The Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress; and the Madison Metaethics Workshop.
I organized a workshop in honor of my new colleagues, Suzy Killmister and Daniel Silvermint. It was called: Workshop on the Duty to Resist Oppression.
Suzy, Daniel, and I have together formed the UConn Junior Faculty Injustice League, and have secured funding for an Injustice League Lecture Series (ILLS).
I am a moral and political philosopher. My two main research programs are both related to the ethics of markets.
Rights and Rights-Transfers: I am curious about the form, function, and foundation of rights. I am also interested in the transfer of rights (or the abdication and generation of two different rights via a promise, for instance, or a contract). I have also developed a theory regarding the specification of rights. You can link to selected papers related to this research program here: "Normalizing Prostitution vs. Normalizing the Alienation of Sexual Rights" Ethics; "The Moral Specification of Rights: A Restricted Account" forthcoming in Law and Philosophy. My most recent set of projects are on the topic of promissory obligation and the relationship between promises and moral rights.
Exploitation: When two people agree to a mutually beneficial transaction, and no one else is hurt in the process, what could possibly be morally wrong? I am working on developing a theory of the wrongfulness of exploitation. Some recent work is as follows: "Noxious Markets vs. Noxious Gift-Relationships," Social Theory and Practice; "Exploitation and the Vulnerability Clause" forthcoming in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice; "The Exploitation Solution to the Non-Identity Problem" forthcoming in Philosophical Studies.
I have also written on a few topics unrelated to these research programs. I care a lot about evaluative concepts (e.g. evil and suberogation). I also care a lot about non-human animals (please enjoy the pictures of my cat throughout this website). I also care a lot about sex (like most people). Here are some paper titles on these topics: "Denying the Suberogatory" Philosophia; "Evil, Wrongdoing, and Concept Distinctness" co-authored with Fred Harrington; "The Ethics of Polyamorous Marriage" in The Ethics of the Family, and "On the Costly Compromises of Non-Clinical Research Relationships" The American Journal of Bioethics.
Here is a link to my full CV.
Since beginning as an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut, I have taught four courses:
Ethics: In this course we explore moral philosophy by asking four questions: (1) What makes our lives go best? For instance, can something we never experience (like the fulfillment of our wishes unbeknownst to us) make us better or worse off? (2) To what principles can we appeal in order to determine what is morally permissible? For instance, ought we always to do that which maximizes happiness and minimizes suffering? (3) Who is part of our moral community, and why? (e.g. are animals and fetuses part of our moral community?) (4) What sort of status should we ascribe to moral claims? For instance, can moral claims be objectively true?
Philosophy and Social Ethics: In this course we evaluate arguments in applied political and moral philosophy, such as: abortion, euthanasia, our duties to the poor, our duties to animals, and distributive justice.
Philosophy and Gender: In this class we use concepts from gender studies (e.g. gender essentialism and "woman as other") to examine philosophical discussions of contemporary moral issues, such as: abortion, prostitution, commercial surrogacy, date rape, sexual coercion, open marriage, gay marriage, and traditional marriage.
Bioethics (Group Independent Study): In this bioethics course we are first investigating and critiquing theories of exploitation and then examining a variety of bioethical topics through the lens of those theories.
Topics in Normative Ethics (graduate seminar): This class is divided into four sections. In the first quarter of the class, we are investigating principled ways of defending deontological intuitions: the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing and the Doctrine of Double Effect. The second quarter of the semester is devoted to the Numbers Problem for Deontology. The third quarter of the class involves an examination of rights, their form and function, and whether or not a consequentialist theory can have them. Finally, in the last quarter of the class, we are examining promises and promissory obligation. What is promissory obligation? When does it arise? And can a consequentialist theory take promises seriously? The course readings are largely contemporary. We are reading a selection of articles. In the last quarter of the class we are reading David Owens' new book, Shaping the Normative Landscape. This second half of this book focuses on promises.
My email address is:
hallie (dot) liberto (at) uconn (dot) edu
My Snail-Mail Address is:
101 Manchester Hall Department of Philosophy University of Connecticut 344 Mansfield Rd, U-1054 Storrs, Connecticut 06269
The Philosophy Department at the University of Connecticut has something wonderful, which is our weekly brown bag series. Each week a faculty member (or sometimes a visitor – though this is separate from our colloquia series) presents a paper or part of a paper for 20-30 minutes at lunchtime, and then the rest of us shred it to pieces. If you are ever in striking distance of UConn on a Wednesday, get over here.
Also, if you are a philosopher working or visiting nearby and ever want to hike, play euchre, patronize the Willimantic Brewing Company, or drop by the department to meet the folks here, feel free to drop me a line.