Published Works

Dave has authored or co-authored 18 books, which can be found below. 

A Brief History of Liberty

Jason Brennan, David Schmidtz

Liberty is a lofty concept. But what exactly is liberty? What kind of value does it have? What institutions best promote and protect the forms of liberty that are worth wanting? And what are the specific benefits and dangers inherent in so-called free societies? 

Commercial Society: A Primer on Ethics and Economics

Cathleen Johnson, Robert Lusch, and David Schmidtz

One of the greatest and most joyful challenges of adult life is to develop skills that make the people around us better off with us than without us. Integrity is a key part of that challenge. We are social animals, aiming not simply to trade but to make a place for ourselves in a community. You don’t want to have to pretend that you feel proud of fooling your customers into believing you could be trusted. The ethical question is: how do people have to live in order to make the world a better place with them than without them?

Creating Wealth: Ethical and Economic Perspectives

David Schmidtz and John Thrasher

Creating Wealth: Ethical and Economic Perspectives is a collection of classic and contemporary economic and philosophical readings that explore these questions: How do agents in the marketplace manage to cooperate? When does such cooperation make the world a better place? What do agents in the marketplace need to do in order to succeed? What do they need to do to deserve to succeed? This text includes an introduction by the co-editor, David Schmidtz, which gives readers a nontechnical overview of an ethical framework for evaluating both market behavior and market institutions.

Debating Education

Harry Brighouse and David Schmidtz

Debating Education puts two leading scholars in conversation with each other on the subject of education-specifically, what role, if any, markets should play in policy reform. David Schmidtz and Harry Brighouse each advance nuanced arguments and respond to each other, presenting contrasting views on education as a public good. At its heart, Debating Education is concerned with the nature, function, and legitimate scope of voluntary exchange as a form of social relation, and how education raises concerns that are not at issue when it comes to trading relationships between consenting adults.

Elements of Justice

David Schmidtz

A new Mandarin translation of David Schmidtz 2006 Elements of Justice book. "What is justice? Questions of justice are questions about what people are due, but what that means in practice depends on context. Depending on context, the formal question of what people are due is answered by principles of desert, reciprocity, equality, or need. Justice, thus, is a constellation of elements that exhibit a degree of integration and unity, but the integrity of justice is limited, in a way that is akin to the integrity of a neighborhood rather than that of a building.

Environmental Ethics: What Really Matters, What Really Works

David Schmidtz and Elizabeth Willott

"Environmental Ethics is the highest quality textbook/collection for foundational environmental ethics courses available. It has all of the foundational views/essays that are core to the discipline, while also offering a good breadth of topical coverage on issues relevant to anyone living on planet earth!"--Lauren Hartzell Nichols, University of Washington

MacMillan Handbook of Environmental Ethics

David Schmidtz

Philosophy: Environmental Ethics is composed of twelve chapters covering such topics as population, novel ecoysystem, geoengineering, climate change, animal ethics, conciliation, and extinction. The use of film, literature, art, case studies, and other disciplines or situations/events provide illustrations of human experiences which work as gateways to questions philosophers try to address. Chapters are written by eminent scholars, are peer reviewed, and offer bibliographies to encourage further exploration. Photos and line art help illuminate the text.

Person, Polis, Planet: Essays in Applied Philosophy

David Schmidtz

This volume collects thirteen of David Schmidtz's essays on the question of what it takes to live a good life, given that we live in a social and natural world. 

Rational Choice and Moral Agency

David Schmidtz

Is it rational to be moral? How do rationality and morality fit together with being human? These questions are at the heart of David Schmidtz's exploration of the connections between rationality and morality. This inquiry leads into both metaethics and rational choice theory, as Schmidtz develops conceptions of what it is to be moral and what it is to be rational. He defends a fairly expansive conception of rational choice, considering how ends as well as means can be rationally chosen and explaining the role of self-imposed constraints in a rational life plan.

Robert Nozick

David Schmidtz

This introductory volume is devoted to Robert Nozick, one of the dominant philosophical thinkers of the current age. Nozick's famous book, Anarchy, State and Utopia (1974), presents the classic defense of the libertarian view that only a minimal state is just. He has made significant contributions to such areas as rational choice theory, ethics, epistemology and philosophy of mind. In addition to philosophers, the book will be of particular interest to professionals and students in political science, law, economics, sociology and psychology.