Robert P. George

Visiting Professor of Law

Fall 2017

Griswold 550

617-495-5384

Assistant: Ellen Keng / 617-496-9016

Biography

Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is Chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and previously served on the President's Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has also served on UNESCO's World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), of which he remains a corresponding member. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, Professor George also earned a master's degree in theology from Harvard and a doctorate in philosophy of law from Oxford University, which he attended on a Knox Scholarship from Harvard. He holds honorary doctorates of law, letters, science, ethics, divinity, humane letters, civil law, and juridical science. He is the author of Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality and In Defense of Natural Law, among other books. His articles and review essays have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the Review of Politics, the Review of Metaphysics, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, and Law and Philosophy. Professor George is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. His other honors include the United States Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement, the Phillip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Liberal Arts of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association, and the Paul Bator Award of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is Of Counsel to the law firm of Robinson & McElwee.

Areas of Interest

Robert P. George, Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism (Intercollegiate Studies Inst. 2013).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Religion & Law
,
Legal Theory & Philosophy
,
Law & Political Theory
Type: Book
Abstract
“Many in elite circles yield to the temptation to believe that anyone who disagrees with them is a bigot or a religious fundamentalist. Reason and science, they confidently believe, are on their side. With this book, I aim to expose the emptiness of that belief.” —From the introduction Assaults on religious liberty and traditional morality are growing fiercer. Here, at last, is the counterattack. Showcasing the talents that have made him one of America’s most acclaimed and influential thinkers, Robert P. George explodes the myth that the secular elite represents the voice of reason. In fact, George shows, it is on the elite side of the cultural divide where the prevailing views frequently are nothing but articles of faith. Conscience and Its Enemies reveals the bankruptcy of these too often smugly held orthodoxies while presenting powerfully reasoned arguments for classical virtues. In defending what James Madison called the “sacred rights of conscience”—rights for which government shows frightening contempt—George grapples with today’s most controversial issues: abortion and infanticide, same-sex marriage, genetic manipulation, euthanasia and assisted suicide, religion in politics, judicial activism, and more. His brilliantly argued essays rely not on theological claims or religious authority but on established scientific facts and a philosophical tradition that extends back to Plato and Aristotle. Conscience and Its Enemies elevates our national debates. It sets forth powerful arguments that secular liberals are unaccustomed to hearing—and that embattled defenders of traditional morality so often fail to marshal. It also lays out the principles and arguments for rebuilding a moral order.
Robert P. George, In Defense of Natural Law (Oxford Univ. Press 1999).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Legal Theory & Philosophy
,
Law & Political Theory
Type: Book
Robert P. George, Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality (Oxford Univ. Press 1993).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Legal Theory & Philosophy
,
Law & Political Theory
Type: Book
Abstract
Contemporary liberal thinkers commonly suppose that there is something in principle unjust about the legal prohibition of putatively victimless crimes. Here Robert P. George defends the traditional justification of morals legislation against criticisms advanced by leading liberal theorists. He argues that such legislation can play a legitimate role in maintaining a moral environment conducive to virtue and inhospitable to at least some forms of vice. Among the liberal critics of morals legislation whose views George considers are Ronald Dworkin, Jeremy Waldron, David A.J. Richards, and Joseph Raz. He also considers the influential modern justification for morals legislation offered by Patrick Devlin as an alternative to the traditional approach. George closes with a sketch of a "pluralistic perfectionist" theory of civil liberties and public morality, showing that it is fully compatible with a defense of morals legislation. Making Men Moral will interest legal scholars and political theorists as well as theologians and philosophers focusing on questions of social justice and political morality.

Education History

Honors and Awards

Current Courses

Course Catalog View

Griswold 550

617-495-5384

Assistant: Ellen Keng / 617-496-9016