David Lyons

Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Law Emeritus
STH 418
Ph.D., Harvard University

Interests: Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy; Race, Reparations, and American History

David Lyons came to Boston University in 1995 from Cornell University, where he had been a member of the Philosophy Department since 1964 and of the law faculty since 1979. Dr. Lyons is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and three Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has directed NEH summer humanities seminars for lawyers, judges, and law teachers. He is also recipient of the Clark Distinguished Teaching Award at Cornell University.

His books include:

Confronting Injustice: Moral History and Political Theory (2013)

Rights, Welfare and Mill’s Moral Theory (1994)

Moral Aspects of Legal Theory: Essays on Law, Justice, and Political Responsibility (1993) — also published in a Spanish edition

Ethics and the Rule of Law (1984) — also published in Spanish, Portuguese, and Polish editions

In the Interest of the Governed: a Study in Bentham’s Philosophy of Utility and Law (1973, 1991)

Forms and Limits of Utilitarianism (1965)

He has edited two anthologies:

Mill’s Utilitarianism: Critical Essays (1998) and Rights (1979).

He has also published many articles in moral, legal, and political philosophy; the more recent ones include:

“Reparations for Slavery and Jim Crow, Its Assumptions and Implications,” forthcoming in Oxford Handbook on Philosophy and Race, ed. N. Zack (Oxford University Press).

“The Social Dimension of Rights,” Journal of Social Philosophy, 44 (2013) 43-50

“The Legal Entrenchment of Illegality,” in The Legacy of H.L.A. Hart, ed. M. Kramer, et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 29-43.

“From Politics to Philosophy,” in Legal Philosophy – Five Questions, ed. M.E.J. Nielsen (New York: Automatic Press/VIP, 2007), pp. 153-169.

Dr. Lyons’ courses are normally cross-listed with the School of Law.