Richard William Miller

Hutchinson Professor in Ethics and Public Life Emeritus


Richard Miller's research and teaching were  in political philosophy and ethics.

Professor Miller passed away in June 2023. Dick's colleague and friend, Harold Hodes, wrote a memorial.

A memorial conference will be held at Cornell in Professor Miller's honor on April 27, 2024.  See this link for more information.

Research Focus

  • Social and political philosophy
  • Ethics



平等,民主,与国家主权:东西方的和解  [Equality, Democracy and National Sovereignty: Reconciling East and West] (Beijing: People's Publishing House, 2016).

Globalizing Justice: The Ethics of Poverty and Power (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).

Moral Differences: Truth, Justice and Conscience in a World of Conflict (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.)

Fact and Method: Explanation, Confirmation and Reality in the Natural and the Social Sciences (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987.)

Analyzing Marx: Morality, Power and History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984.)

Select Articles

"Social Democracy and Free Enterprise," Journal of Social Philosophy 50 (2019): 597-619.

“Is Capitalism Corrupt?”, Social Philosophy and Policy 35 (2018): 31-53.

“Why Sovereignty Matters Despite Injustice: The Ethics of Intervention” in C.A.J. Coady, Ned Dobos and Sagar Sanyal, eds., Challenges for Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical Demand and Political Reality (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 38-58.

“‘Rogue State’ Is Not ‘OK’: A Critique of an American Usage,” Strife and King’s Student Law Review, joint issue I (2018): 31-47. pdf

“Learning from Libertarianism: Thanks from an Unrepentant Social Democrat” in Jason Brennan, Bas van der Vossen and David Schmidtz, The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism (New York: Routledge: 2018), pp. 3-21. pdf

"Unequal Bargaining Power and Economic Justice: How Workers Are Exploited and Why It Matters" in Monique Deveaux and Vida Panitch, Exploitation: From Practice to Theory (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), pp. 15-34.

"Michael Blake's Border Controls," Ethics & International Affairs 29 (2015): 289-99.

"Civilian Deaths and American Power" in Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue, eds., The American Way of Bombing: Changing Ethical and Legal Norms, from Flying Fortresses to Drones (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014), pp.158-71.

 “The Cosmopolitanism Controversy Needs a Mid-Life Crisis,” in Gillian Brock, ed., Cosmopolitanism versus Non-Cosmopolitanism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 272-93.

"Global Poverty and Global Inequality" in Jon Mandle and David Reidy, eds., A Companion to Rawls (Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), pp. 361-77.

“Global Needs and Special Relationships” in David Grusky and Tamar Kricheli-Katz, eds., The New Gilded Age (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012), pp. 39-60. pdf

“The Ethics of America’s Afghan War,” Ethics & International Affairs 25 (2011): 103-131.

“Rawls and Global Justice: A Dispute over a Legacy,” The Monist 94 (2011): 466-88.

“How Global Inequality Matters,” Journal of Social Philosophy 52 (2011): 88-98.

“Might Still Distorts Right: Perils of the Rule of Law Project” in James Fleming, ed., Getting to the Rule of Law, Nomos L  (New York: New York University Press, 2011), pp. 265-92.

“Relationships of Equality: A Camping Trip Revisited,” Journal of Ethics 14 (2010): 231-53.

"Global Power and Economic Justice" in Charles Beitz and Robert Goodin, eds. Global Basic Rights (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 156-80.

"Unlearning American Patriotism," Theory and Research in Education 5 (2007): 7-21.

"Global Institutional Reform and Global Social Movements: From False Promise to Realistic Hope," Cornell International Law Journal 39 (2006): 501-14.

"Terrorism and Legitimacy," Journal of Social Philosophy 36 (2005): 194-201.

"Beneficence, Duty and Distance," Philosophy & Public Affairs 32 (2004): 357-83.

"Moral Closeness and World Community" in Deen Chatterjee, ed., The Ethics of Assistance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 101-22. Subsequently anthologized in Thomas Pogge and Keith Horton, eds., Global Ethics: Seminal Essays (New York: Paragon, 2008).

"Terrorism, War and Empire" in James Sterba, ed., Terrorism and International Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 186-205.

"Respectable Oppressors, Hypocritical Liberators," in Deen Chatterjee and Donald Scheid, eds., Ethics and Foreign Intervention, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 215-50.

"Marxism and Capitalism" in R.G. Frey and Christopher Wellman, eds., Blackwell Companion to Applied Ethics (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003), pp. 62-74.

"Too Much Inequality," Social Philosophy and Policy, 19 (2002): 275-313.

"Marx's Legacy" in Robert Simon, ed., Blackwell Companion to Political Philosophy (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), pp. 131-53.

"Moral Contractualism and Moral Sensitivity," Social Theory and Practice, 28 (2002): 193-220.

"Nationalist Morality and Crimes Against Humanity" in Aleksandar Jokic, ed., War Crimes and Collective Wrongdoing (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), pp. 143-62.

"Cosmopolitan Respect and Patriotic Concern," Philosophy & Public Affairs 27 (1998): 202-24. Subsequently anthologized.

"The Norms of Reason," Philosophical Review 104 (1995): 205-245.

"Ways of Moral Learning," Philosophical Review 94 (1985): 507-556.

"Producing Change" in T. Ball and J. Farr (eds.), After Marx, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. 59-87.

"Marx and Morality" in Nomos, Volume XXVI:  Marxism Today, (1983): 3-32.

"Reason and Commitment in the Social Sciences," Philosophy and Public Affairs 8 (1979): 241-266.

"Truth in Beauty," American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (1979): 317-325.

"Methodological Individualism and Social Explanation,'' Philosophy of Science 45 (1978): 387-414. Subsequently anthologized.

"Absolute Certainty,'' Mind 87 (1978): 46-65.

"Rawls and Marxism," revised version of 1974 paper, in N. Daniels, ed. Reading Rawls, (New York: Basic Books, 1975), pp. 206-230.

"Rawls and Marxism," Philosophy and Public Affairs 3 (1974): 167-191. Subsequently anthologized.


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