Moral, Social, & Political Philosophy; etc.

About Rodney G. Peffer


General Information

 Rodney G. Peffer, PhD, is a philosopher specializing in moral, social, and political philosophy as well as a published poet, an electronic percussionist (who occasionally plays with avant-garde jazz and “new music” musicians), and a long-term activist for progressive political causes. He has been a Professor of Philosophy  at the University of San Diego (USD) since 1986.  He is also an associated faculty member of Xiamin University (in Xiamin, China).


Scholarly Work

 In 1990 Peffer published Marxism, Morality, and Social Justice with Princeton University Press.  Since then it has been translated into Turkish and published in Turkey in 2000, translated into Chinese and published in China twice (in two different editions) in 2010 and 2018, and translated into Slovakian and published in Slovakia in 2015.  In addition, he has published various articles in such journals as Philosophy & Public Affairs (“In Defense of Rights to Well-Being,” 1978), Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (“Towards a More Adequate Rawlsian Theory of Social Justice,” 1994), the Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Social Philosophy, Radical Philosophy, International Journal of Politics and Ethics, Economics & Philosophy, and Foreign Theoretical Trends (China), as well as in various anthologies.  His essay “Security and Subsistence Rights as Free Standing, Universal Rights and the Problems We Face at the Start of the 21st Century” was solicited by UNESCO and published on its website in 2004. Recently he contributed 4 entries to the Rawls Lexicon (Cambridge University Press, 2016) explaining Rawls's views on the following topics:  "Karl Marx,"  "Socialism," 'Property-Owning Democracy," and the "Principle of Basic Needs."  He is currently finishing his second major book:  Marxism, Global Justice, and Market Socialism.


Teaching Interests

Rodney G. Peffer regularly teaches Political Philosophy, Environmental Ethics, Ethics of War and Peace,  and various topics courses in ethics and in social and political philosophy, as well as Philosophy of Art (Aesthetics).   He has team taught Honors Courses and Social Issues Courses with USD colleagues from the departments of Philosophy, Sociology, and Theology & Religious Studies as well as Introduction to Philosophy, Metaethics, Ethical Theory, Philosophy of Law, Biomedical Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Ethics & Multiculturalism, and Global Peace and Justice.   He has also taught  courses in Political Philosophy on four different occasions at Renmin University (in Beijing) and twice at Nankai University (in Tianjin, China).