I'm a Visiting Assistant Professor of philosophy at the University of San Diego, where I am also part of the Center for Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy. 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

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

Journal Articles

Public Servants. Journal of Moral Philosophy (Online First, 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.

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

The goal of this paper is to provide reasons against resurrecting the notion of institutional corruption in the realm of policy for three main reasons. 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.

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.

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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Book Reviews

 

Teaching

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University of San Diego

Visiting Assistant Professor

PPE 101 - Morality, Markets, and Government

​PHIL 338: Environmental Ethics

PHIL 461: Philosophy of Law

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 

 

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.

The course has three main goals:

(i) It offers the students a first approach to philosophy, politics, and economics.

(ii) It provides tools for the student to understand the institutions and overcome the complexities of a commercial society.

(iii) And, most importantly, it aims to help the student to find the best way to be at service with honesty. In other words, it intends to teach how to deserve success.

I am 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 give 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 (Kerry Montano and James Harrigan) the training to teach EEE in Mexican high-schools.

I'm particularly invested in this project. Coming from a developing country, I know how important it is to teach basic economics and the fundamentals 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.