Professor of Philosophy
Pete Kameron Professor of Law and Social Justice
- B.A. UC Berkeley, 1988
- B. Phil. Oxford, 1990
- D. Phil. Oxford, 1993
- J.D. Harvard, 1996
- UCLA Faculty Since 1992
Seana Valentine Shiffrin is Professor of Philosophy and Pete Kameron Professor of Law and Social Justice at UCLA, where she has taught since 1992. Shiffrin received her B.A. degree from UC Berkeley where she was the University Medalist. She attended Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar and received the B.Phil. with Distinction and the D.Phil. in Philosophy. She earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She teaches courses on moral and political philosophy as well as contracts, freedom of speech, constitutional rights and individual autonomy, remedies and legal theory. She served for sixteen years as an associate editor of Philosophy and Public Affairs and serves as co-director of the UCLA Law and Philosophy Program. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2016, she received the UCLA School of Law's Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Her research addresses issues in moral, political and legal philosophy, as well as matters of legal doctrine, that concern equality, autonomy, and the social conditions for their realization. She has written extensively on the morality of promising and the role of law in facilitating and fostering moral character, with a special emphasis on the connection between contracts and promises. Her recent book, Speech Matters, explored the ethics of communication and the connection between the prohibition on lying, freedom of speech, and moral progress.
- Democratic Law. Oxford University Press (2021). (Berkeley Tanner Lectures, edited by Hannah Ginsborg and with commentaries from Niko Kolodny, Richard W. Brooks, and Anna Stilz). Bookshop | Amazon | Book Info
- The Norton Introduction to Philosophy (edited by Gideon Rosen, Alex Byrne, Joshua Cohen, and Seana Shiffrin). W.W. Norton & Company (2015).
- Speech Matters: Lying, Morality and the Law. Princeton University Press (2014).
Articles And Chapters
- Reliance Arguments, Democratic Law, and Inequity, Jurisprudence (2023). SSRN | Full Text
- Unfit to Print: Government Speech and the First Amendment, 69 UCLA L. Rev. 986 (2022). SSRN | Full Text
- Hidden Delegations: The Assignment of Contractual Rights and Consumer Debt, MOD. L. REV. 1 (2022). SSRN | Full Text
- Democratic Representation as Duty Delegation, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Association (2022). SSRN | Full Text
- Back-door Lies and Promising under Coercion, Mind (Oct. 14, 2020). SSRN | Full Text
- Compelled Speech and the Irrelevance of Controversy, 47 Pepperdine Law Review 731 (2020). Full Text
- Lying, Reciprocity and Free Speech -- A Reply to Eight Critics, 38 Law and Philosophy 555 (2019). Springer | Full Text
- Learning about Deception from Lawyers, 93 Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplement 69 (2019). SSRN | Full Text
- Deceptive Advertising and Taking Responsibility for Others, in The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics, (edited by Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson, and Tyler Dogget, Oxford Univ. Press, 2018). SSRN
- Lecture 1: Democratic Law, in The Tanner Lectures on Human Values 37, (edited by Mark Matheson, University of Utah Press, 2018). Tanner Lecture series: "Speaking Amongst Ourselves: Democracy and Law"
- Lecture 2: Common and Constitutional Law: A Democratic Legal Perspective, in The Tanner Lectures on Human Values 37, (edited by Mark Matheson, University of Utah Press, 2018). "Speaking Amongst Ourselves: Democracy and Law"
- The Moral Neglect of Negligence, in Vol. 3 Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, (edited by David Sobel, Peter Vallentyne, and Steve Wall, Oxford Univ. Press, 2017). A critical discussion of the article appears at Pea Soup. | Full Text
- Enhancing Moral Relationships Through Strict Liability, 66 University of Toronto Law Review 353 (2016). SSRN
- Bedrock, 129 Harvard Law Review Forum 242 (2016). SSRN
- Remedial Clauses: The Overprivatization of Private Law, 67 Hastings Law Journal 407 (2016). Full Text | SSRN
- Preserving the Valued or Preserving Valuing?, in Death and the Afterlife by Samuel Scheffler, pp. 143-58 (edited and introduced by Niko Kolodny, Oxford University Press, 2013). Full Text
- Harm and Its Moral Significance, 18 Legal Theory 357-98 (2012). (Posted with permission from Cambridge University Press; Copyright Cambridge University Press.) Abstract
- Are Contracts Promises?. Pre-publication version. Edited version appears in the Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Law (edited by Andrei Marmor, Routledge, 2012). Full Text
- A Thinker-Based Approach to Freedom of Speech, 27 Constitutional Commentary 283-307 (2011). Full Text
- Immoral, Conflicting and Redundant Promises, in Reasons and Recognition: Essays on the Philosophy of T.M. Scanlon, (edited by R. Jay Wallace, Rahul Kumar, and Samuel Freeman, Oxford University Press, 2011). Full Text
- Incentives, Motives and Talents, 38 Philosophy & Public Affairs 111-42 (2010). Abstract
- Inducing Moral Deliberation: On the Occasional Virtues of Fog, 123 Harvard Law Review 1214-46 (2010). Full Text
- The Story of West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette (with Vincent Blasi), in Constitutional Law Stories, 2nd ed. (edited by Michael Dorf, Foundation Press, 2009). Reprinted in First Amendment Stories (edited by Richard W. Garnett and Andrew Koppelman, Foundation Press, 2012). (Posted with permission from Foundation Press.) Full Text
- Could Breach of Contract be Immoral?, 107 Michigan Law Review 1551-68 (2009). Full Text
- Promising, Intimate Relationships, and Conventionalism, 117 Philosophical Review 481-524 (2008). Full Text | SSRN
- Intellectual Property, in A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy, (edited by Robert Goodin, Philip Pettit, and Thomas Pogge, Blackwell, 2007). Full Text
- The Divergence of Contract and Promise, 120 Harvard Law Review 708-53 (2007). Full Text
- Are Credit Card Late Fees Unconstitutional?, 15 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 457-500 (2006). Full Text | SSRN
- What Is Really Wrong With Compelled Association?, 99 Northwestern University Law Review 839-88 (2005). Full Text
- Race, Labor, and the Fair Equality of Opportunity Principle, 72 Fordham Law Review 1643-75 (2004). Full Text
- Autonomy, Beneficence, and the Permanently Demented, in Ronald Dworkin and His Critics, 195-217 (edited by Justine Burley, Blackwell Publishers, 2004). Full Text
- Egalitarianism, Choice-Sensitivity, and Accommodation, in Reason and Value: Themes from the Work of Joseph Raz, 270-302 (edited by Philip Pettit, et al, Oxford University Press, 2004). Full Text
- Speech, Death, and Double Effect, 78 NYU Law Review 1135-85 (2003). Full Text | SSRN
- Lockean Arguments for Private Intellectual Property, in New Essays in the Legal and Political Theory of Property, 138-67 (edited by Stephen R. Munzer, Cambridge University Press, 2001). Full Text
- Paternalism, Unconscionability Doctrine, & Accommodation, 29 Philosophy & Public Affairs 205-51 (2000). Reprinted in Philosophy of Law (edited by Joel Feinberg and Jules Coleman, Wadsworth/Thompson Learning, 2003, 2007). Full Text
- Moral Overridingness and Moral Subjectivism, 109 Ethics 772-94 (1999). Full Text
- Wrongful Life, Procreative Responsibility, and the Significance of Harm, 5 Legal Theory 117-148 (1999). Excerpted in Philosophy of Law (edited by Jules Coleman and Joel Feinberg, 2007). Full Text
- Developments in the Law--DNA Evidence and the Criminal Defense, 108 Harvard Law Review 1557-82 (1995).
- Moral Autonomy and Agent Centered Options, 51 Analysis 244-54 (1991).
Lectures, Replies And Remarks
- A Worthy Object of Passion, 65 UCLA Law Review Discourse 254 (2016). Full Text
- Must I Mean What You Think I Should Have Said?, 98 Virginia Law Review 159-76 (2012). Full Text
- Reply to Critics, 97 Constitutional Commentary 417-38 (2011). Full Text
- Methodology in Free Speech Theory, 97 Virginia Law Review 549-58 (2011). Full Text
- Reparations for U.S. Slavery and Justice over Time, in Harming Future Persons (edited by David Wasserman and Melinda Roberts, Springer, 2009). Full Text
- The Incentives Argument for Intellectual Property Protection, in Intellectual Property and Theories of Justice 94-105 (edited by A. Gosseries, A. Marciano & A. Strowel, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). Reprinted in IV Journal of Law, Philosophy, and Culture (2010). Full Text
- Compelled Association, Morality & Market Dynamics, 41 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 317 (2007). Full Text
- Caution about Character Ideals and Capital Punishment: A Reply to Sorell, 21 Criminal Justice Ethics 35-39 (2002). Full Text
- Protecting Minors and the First Amendment, 129(5) LA Daily Journal (June 1, 2016).
- Book Review, 15 Harvard Woman's Law Journal 295-303 (1992). Reviewing Justice and the Politics of Difference, by Iris Marion Young.