Visiting Assistant Professor of Law
Jed Lewinsohn is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to joining the department, he was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, and received a doctorate in philosophy at NYU and a JD at Yale Law School. He works primarily in moral philosophy, philosophy of action, and the philosophy of law – with a focus on the intersection between these areas and private law doctrine and theory. For example, he has defended Humean views about the bearing of shifting legal practice, on the one hand, and power-conferring norms, on the other, on longstanding debates concerning the conventional status of property rights and contractual rights. Additionally, he has articulated the structure of basic commercial concepts (such as debt and quid pro quo exchange), especially as they figure in contract and commercial law. Current research interests concern the privity principle in contract, “objective” characterizations of mental states, and the relation between basic legal concepts and particular legal systems. He is the author, most recently, of “By Convention Alone: Assignable Rights, Dischargeable Debts, and the Distinctiveness of the Commercial Sphere” (Ethics), “The ‘Natural Unintelligibility’ of Normative Powers” (to appear in special issue of Jurisprudence, with discussion by Felix Koch), “Limited Assurance” (Philosophy & Public Affairs) and “Paid on Both Sides: Quid Pro Quo Exchange and the Doctrine of Consideration” (Yale Law Journal).