John Deigh

  • Professor of Philosophy and Law


  • PhD University of California-Los Angeles
  • MA University of California-Los Angeles
  • BA University of California-Los Angeles

Areas of Specialty

John Deigh joined the Texas faculty in 2003 after more than twenty years of teaching at Northwestern University. He is a professor in both the law school and the philosophy department. His primary areas of research are moral, political, and legal philosophy. He is widely known for his work in moral psychology. He is the author of The Sources of Moral Agency (Cambridge University Press, 1996), Emotions, Values and the Law (Oxford University Press, 2008), and An Introduction to Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2010). His recent articles include “William James and the Rise of Scientific Psychology”, Emotion Review (2014), “Human Rights as Political Rights”, Journal of Social Philosophy (2013), “Ethics in the Analytic Tradition” in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics, R. Crisp, ed. (Oxford University Press, 2013), “Reactive Attitudes Revisited” in Morality and the Emotions, C. Bagnoli ed. (Oxford University Press, 2011), and “Empathy, Justice, and Jurisprudence,” Sourthern Journal of Philosophy, Spindel Supplement, (2011). Other articles include “Rights and the Authority of Law”, University of Chicago Law Review (1984), “Cognitivism in the Theory of Emotions,” Ethics (1994), “Empathy and Universalizability,” Ethics (1995), and “All Kinds of Guilt”, Law and Philosophy (1999)

Deigh serves on the editorial boards of Ethics, Analytic Philosophy, and Law and Philosophy and is an associate editor of the 9 volume International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Wiley/Blackwell, 2013). From 1997-2008 he was the editor of Ethics. Deigh has held visiting appointments at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago and research fellowships at the Hastings Center and the RSSS of the Australian National University.

Recent Publications

  • Political Obligation, in The Oxford Handbook of Hobbes, 293 (A.P. Martinich & Kinch Hoekstra, Oxford University Press, 2016).
  • Punishment and Proportionality: Part 2, 35 Criminal Justice Ethics 21 (2016).
  • The Emotional Significance of Punishment, 8 Emotion Review 56 (2016).

Full list of publications…

Recent Activities

  • "Empathy, Justice, and Jurisprudence"

    October 8, 2010

    University of Memphis

    Keynote paper at the 29th Annual Spindel Conference

  • "Empathy in Law"

    September 15, 2009

    XXIV World Congress of Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy

    Workshop on virtues in law held in Beijing, China

  • "Reactive Attitudes Revisited"

    January 16, 2009

    University of Basel

    Conference on Self-Evaluation - Individual and Collective, held in Basel, Switzerland.

Full activities list…