Robert Hughes is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the UCLA Law and Philosophy Program. Hughes’ teaching interests include political philosophy, ethical theory, applied ethics, philosophy of law, philosophy of action, Kant, and introduction to philosophy. He won the Distinguished Teaching Award for the Department of Philosophy at UCLA in 2009, and the Yost Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2007.
Hughes’ research focuses on the relationship between law and coercion, the justification of democracy, and issues of justice in health care and medical research. His dissertation, “Governing the Good,” challenges the widespread assumption that wherever law and government go, coercion is sure to accompany them. He argues that the entitlement to make law does not necessarily come with an entitlement to enforce law coercively.
Hughes earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy with high honors from Harvard University (2001), and his Ph.D. in Philosophy with a specialization in Law and Philosophy from UCLA (2010). He has recently been a post-doctoral fellow in the Bioethics Department of the National Institutes of Health.