Aeon J. Skoble

Aeon J. Skoble

Professor of Philosophy
Bridgewater State University

Aeon J. Skoble is Professor of Philosophy at Bridgewater State University, in Southeastern Massachusetts. A native New Yorker, he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s and doctorate from Temple University. In 1991, he was awarded a Claude R. Lambe Fellowship from the Institute for Humane Studies. His main research in moral and political philosophy includes theories of rights, the nature and justification of authority, virtue ethics, classical theories of happiness, and theories of legal interpretation.

Professor Skoble is the author of Deleting the State: An Argument about Government(Open Court, 2008), the editor of Reading Rasmussen and Den Uyl: Critical Essays on Norms of Liberty (Lexington Books, 2008), and co-editor of Political Philosophy: Essential Selections(Prentice-Hall, 1999) and Reality, Reason, and Rights (Lexington Books, 2011).  Besides his academic work, he has frequently lectured and written for the Institute for Humane Studies and the Foundation for Economic Education, and he is a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute. In addition, he writes widely on the intersection of philosophy and popular culture, among other things co-editing the best-selling The Simpsons and Philosophy (Open Court, 2000).

Blog Posts

Women in the draft: The wrong kind of equality

Equality in slavery is not an admirable goal even among those with the best of intentions.

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Yet another comically bad caricature of libertarianism

Another day, another hilariously awful straw man argument against libertarianism.

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Why Freedom Matters

What if I told you that some people were better than others? I don’t mean better at tennis or better at singing or better at math.  I mean a better breed…

Programs

Vice City

The Philosophy of Liberty

Videos

An Unhealthy Alliance: Tobacco Companies and Anti-smoking

Why are cities across America considering bans on e cigarettes and vaping? And what do the tobacco industry and anti-tobacco groups have in common? Prof. Aeon Skoble looks at the motivations…

Subjective vs. Objective Value: The Economist and the Philosopher

Economists and philosophers use the word “value” differently. Philosophy professor Aeon J. Skoble points out that while economics discusses value as a subjective thing, philosophy tends to address value as…

Smoking Bans: Banning Freedom

According to Prof. Aeon Skoble, smoking bans are on the rise in America. At first glance, this trend seems to stage a battle of rights. The smoker claims to have…

Social Cooperation: Why Thieves Hate Free Markets

Many believe that market economies create a dog eat dog environment full of human conflict and struggle. To Prof. Aeon Skoble, the competition in markets does not create conflict, but…

Equality & Respect: How I’m Equal to Hugh Jackman

According to the Declaration of Independence, we’re all created equal. But Professor Aeon Skoble is not as rich as Bill Gates, as tough as Vin Diesel, or as sexy as…

Democracy, Tyranny, and Liberty

Do democracies promote freedom? According to Prof. Aeon Skoble, it is definitely possible for democracies to promote freedom, but it is not a guarantee. This is due to a few…

Property Rights: The Little Guy’s Best Friend

Do stable property rights benefit only the rich? Prof. Aeon Skoble argues that, contrary to public belief, equally protected property rights are the little guy’s best protection against the rich…

Economic Vs. Civil Liberties

Which are more important, economic liberties or civil liberties? The conventional view portrays conservatives as caring more about economic liberties than civil liberties. Liberals, on the other hand, are conventionally…

Individualism vs. Collectivism

Prof. Aeon Skoble claims that if we really care about the wellbeing of communities, we should keep in mind the unique and autonomous individuals that make it up. Each individual…

Positive Rights vs. Negative Rights

Prof. Aeon Skoble describes the difference between positive and negative rights.  Fundamentally, positive rights require others to provide you with either a good or service.  A negative right, on the…

Where Do Rights Come From?

Where do rights come from? Prof. Aeon Skoble claims that there are several types of rights that come from various sources. For instance, voting rights and contract rights come from…

What Are Rights?

Individuals have rights. But are they natural? And how do they compare and contrast with legal or constitutional rights? Are legal or constitutional rights similar to those inalienable rights mentioned…

Equality and Respect

What do we mean when we talk about equality?  How does equality relate to our concept of respect for others?   Philosophy professor Aeon Skoble challenges students to take a fresh…