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I am an assistant professor of philosophy and political economy at the Department of Philosophy and the Murphy Institute at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.

I work mainly in ethics, political and social philosophy, from the interdisciplinary perspective known as Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE).

During my first years studying philosophy in Mexico City, I became unsatisfied with mere idealizations. I traveled to Paris to see whether social sciences could satisfy my quest for practical solutions to philosophical quandaries. But it was until I went to the University of Arizona and discovered PPE that I finally found what I was looking for.

Now, I teach this interdisciplinary approach to the new generations, who are eager to do the right thing not only in theory, but also in practice.

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Education

Education

The University of Arizona
Ph.D. in Philosophy (2021)

Dissertation - Essays on Political Corruption

Committee: David Schmidtz (chair), Thomas Christiano, Steve Wall, Vlad Tarko

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​École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS)

Paris, France.

Master in Social Sciences, speciality Political Studies (2011)

Master dissertation - From Neutrality to Open Impartiality: Reflections on the Concept of Inclusion in Rawls and Sen (in French).

Committee: Luc Foisneau (chair), Pasquale Pasquino

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Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

Mexico City, Mexico

Licenciatura (equivalent of B.A.) in Philosophy (2009)

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Publications

Publications

Journal Articles

When Moral Talk Becomes Profitable. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (2024, Online First).

Should businesses engage in moral talk when it becomes profitable? Due to their particular position of visibility, it is reasonable to acknowledge that businesses have specific moral duties. I argue that, in polarized societies, the positional duty of businesses implies decreasing the risk of social conflict. I call this duty the imperative of doux commerce.

Official Disobedience: Bureaucrats & Unjust Laws. Criminal Law and Philosophy (2023 Online First).

This paper argues that public officials should have a legal right to refuse to enforce laws that they consider unjust. Call this the right to official disobedience. Official disobedience would be exclusively negative: public servants would only be allowed to refuse to use public power in order to prevent injustices.

Should We Resurrect Institutional Corruption? Public Affairs Quarterly (2023).

The goal of this paper is to provide reasons against resurrecting the notion of institutional corruption in the realm of policy. First, it is baseless: there is no empirical evidence that the sole presence of money alters democratic results. Second, it is unnecessary: individual corruption can be used to condemn and sanction illegal actions that undermine democratic decision-making. And third, it is unclear whether policies against money in politics are beneficial or detrimental to electoral competition.

Public Servants. Journal of Moral Philosophy (2022). With Alexander Schaefer.

We defend an institutional reform called Service Responsibility, which requires increasing or decreasing the income of political leaders insofar as they succeed or fail at achieving democratically chosen goals.

Exit & Isolation: Rousseau's State of Nature. Synthese 200, 252 (2022). With Alexander Schaefer.

We first construct a model that incorporates Rousseau’s criticisms by permitting an exit option and (partly) endogenizing human preferences and capacities. Second, we draw out the implications of Rousseau’s analysis for the question of political authority, which cannot be answered, as Hobbes believed, by invoking a hypothetical state of nature.

The Moral Incompetence of Anti-Corruption Experts. Res Publica 27 (2021): 537-557.

This paper studies the lessons of principled anti-corruption experts who dared to fulfill their duty of justice in highly corrupt societies. My thesis is that when principled anti-corruption experts are epistemic trespassers (when they fail to identify the limits of their skills), they show moral incompetence (the tendency of principled agents to bungle moral situations).

The Administrative State. Social Philosophy & Policy 38 (2021): 1-5.

With David Schmidtz.

There has always been a tension, in theory, between public accountability and the professional efficiency of the agencies of the administrative state. How has that tension been handled? What would it be like for it to be well handled?

Personal Corruption & Corrupting Laws: Montesquieu's Twofold Theory of Corruption. Business Ethics and Leadership 4 (2020): 76-83.

The main purpose of this paper is to recover Montesquieu’s view of corruption and show that there are at least two different kinds of corruption. The first kind tracks a problem with individuals. The second kind tracks a problem with the laws.

Political Philosophy as Reconciliation. Revista Estudios: Filosofía, Historia, Letras 114 (2015): 71-90 (original in Spanish).

I argue that one important—and generally forgotten—task of political philosophy is to reconcile us with our institutions and with our fellow citizens. In this paper, I put forward the benefits of reconciliation compared to critical theory.

The "Us" in Justice: Liberal Criteria for Exclusion and Inclusion. Perspectivas: Portuguese Journal of Political Science and International Relations 9 (2012): 31-52.

I put forward some guidelines to think about borders within the context of liberal theory, avoiding falling into nationalism and cosmopolitanism.

Book Chapters

“A Pluralistic Approach to Corruption: Principal-Agent, Collective Action, and Hayek.” In Social Process & Social Problems, edited by Paul Dragos Aligica, Ginny Choi, Virgil Storr. London, UK: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021: 255-282.

Employing insights from mainline economists, this chapter presents a Hayekian approach to corruption, which emphasizes what people do over what the law says: it focuses on cultural practices. However, there is no one-size-fits-all map for the complex terrain of corruption since it appears in different forms: it may be a moral problem of public officials, but sometimes, it is a social problem resulting from undesirable norms; it can also be a cultural response to inadequate laws. 

The European Union Crisis as a Crisis of Equality. In A European Crisis: Perspectives on Refugees and Europe, edited by Timofey Agarin and Nevena Nancheva. Hannover, Germany: Ibidem-Verlag, 2018: 191-218.

I argue that the economic crisis in the European Union, as a crisis of redistribution and fiscal policy, cannot be solved without instituting political equality among European citizens.

Book Reviews

Rawls as a Hegelian. In Hegel, Filosofía Analítica y Liberalismo, edited by José Antonio Pardo. Mexico City: Universidad Iberoamericana, 2016: 105-128 (original in Spanish).

Despite the salient Kantian influence on Rawls's thought, I show that, in his late work, Rawls integrates some Hegelian aspects to his thought, especially when thinking about the possibility of an overlapping consensus.

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Teaching

Teaching

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Tulane University

PECN 6000: Political Economy Seminar - Political Corruption

PECN 3030: The Individual, Society, and State - Fundamentals of Political Economy

PHIL 6935: PPE Methods

PHIL 3640: Philosophy of Law

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University of San Diego

 

PPE 101 - Morality, Markets, and Government

​PHIL 338: Environmental Ethics

PHIL 461: Philosophy of Law

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The University of Arizona

Instructor

PHIL 323 - Environmental Ethics. Online.

PHIL / LING / MATH 202 - Introduction to Symbolic Logic

PHIL / PPEL 101 - Ethics, Economy, and Entrepreneurship

Graduate Teaching Assistant

PPEL 205:Ethics and Economics of Wealth Creation (Instructor, Patrick Harless)

Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM)

Department of General Studies

Social and Political Ideas and Institutions II: History of modern philosophy.

Universidad Iberoamericana

Department of Philosophy

Ethics and Communication 

Philosophy of Communication 

Critical Thinking

Philosophy of History 

Philosophy of Culture and Multiculturalism 

Philosophical Foundations of Psychology 

Social and Political Philosophy 

Department of Social and Political Sciences

Theories of the State

Analysis of Political Discourse, co-taught with Gonzalo Escribano 

EEE

Ethics, Economy, and Entrepreneurship

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Ethics, Economy, and Entrepreneurship (EEE) is a dual-credit course for high-school students designed by Cathleen Johnson, Bob Lusch, and David Schmidtz.

I was part of the Mexican, South American, and European versions of EEE. I helped with the organization of visits to Mexico, Colombia, and France. I also provided assistance with the translation of the book to Spanish and French.

I gave guest lectures to high-school students to students of every social background, from South Tucson to Scottsdale.

Some of my talks are:

"Market, Meaning, and Happiness"

"The Fragility of Institutions"

"What Should Not Be for Sale"

I taught the undergraduate-level version of this course at the University of Arizona for the first time. And I co-taught (with Kerry Montano and James Harrigan) the training to teach EEE in Mexican high schools.

Coming from a developing country, I know how important it is to teach basic economics and the fundamental tools of ethics to young students to help them at the personal level to take the risk of pursuing an entrepreneurial life, and also help the society to create wealth and wellbeing.

You can find out more about Ethics, Economy, and Entrepreneurship here and about its textbook, "Commercial Society: A Primer on Ethics and Economics," here.

Commercial Society corrected book cover.
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