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Adam Lovett

I am a Lecturer at the Australian Catholic University (ACU). I spent 2021 to 2024 as a Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE), and I completed a Ph.D. in philosophy at New York University (NYU) in July 2021.


I works on the ways in which real-world democracies fall short of democratic ideals. My forthcoming book, Democratic Failures and the Ethics of Democracy, argues that these shortfalls transform the rights and duties of ordinary citizens. It'll be out in May 2024, but feel free to email me if you'd like to see a draft. And, in the meantime, you can see me give a précis of the book here

My email is:

Here is my CV

About: Publications

My main project is in democratic theory. Over the last seven decades, an enormous amount of empirical evidence has accumulated about the failings of American democracy. My work in democratic theory explores the philosophical significance of these empirical results. This interdisciplinary project has led to two further foundational projects. The first of these concerns equality. I believe democracy is valuable, in part, because it helps preclude inegalitarian relationships. My project here lies in giving an account of such relationships. I think we can understand them wholly in terms of power asymmetries, and this explains many moral phenomena. The second of these more foundational projects concerns autonomy. I believe democracies is valuable, in part, because it helps citizens realize a distinctive kind of autonomy. My project here lies in understanding the normative import of autonomy. I believe we should adopt an institutional theory of autonomy rights, on which we have autonomy when good institutions grant us such rights. Besides these projects in political philosophy, I have joint work with Dr. Stefan Riedener on the fundamental basis of our normative reasons. We believe that a large swathe of ethical phenomena can be understood in terms of contact with value. Finally, in metaphysics, I have several papers developing coarse-grained conception of ground. You can find many of papers constituting these projects below. 


Democratic Failures and the Ethics of Democracy. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. 2024. First chapter. Preorder Here.

Peer Reviewed Papers

  1. Adam Lovett and Stefan Riedener. The Good Life as the Life in Touch with the Good. Philosophical Studies. 2024. Paper here. Abstract.                                                      

  2. Adam Lovett and Stefan Riedener. Commonsense Morality and Contact with Value. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 2024. Paper here. Abstract.                                                               

  3. Property and Non-Ideal Theory. Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. 2023Paper hereAbstract.                                                             

  4. The Ethics of Asymmetric Politics. Politics, Philosophy & Economics. 2023. Paper here. Abstract.                                                   

  5. Should Canada have oaths of allegiance? Canadian Journal of Foreign Policy. 2023. Paper hereAbstract.                                                      

  6. Adam Lovett and Jake Zuehl. The Possibility of Democratic Autonomy. Philosophy & Public Affairs. 2022. Paper Here. Abstract.                                                                              

  7.  Adam Lovett and Daniel Sharp. What Immigrants Owe. Ergo. 2022. Paper hereAbstract.                                                                                                                              

  8. The Loving State. Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. 2022. Paper hereAbstract.                                                                                         

  9. Voter Motivation. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy. 2022. Paper hereAbstract.                                                                                 

  10. Adam Lovett and Stefan Riedener. Group agents and moral status: what can we owe to organizations?. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. 2021. Paper here. Abstract.                                                 

  11. Must egalitarians condemn representative democracy?. Social Theory and Practice. 2021. Paper hereAbstract.                                                                                               

  12. Democratic Autonomy and the Shortcomings of Citizens. Journal of Moral Philosophy. 2020. Paper hereAbstract.                                                                                   

  13. Adam Lovett and Stefan Riedener. On Keeping Things in Proportion. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy. 2019. Paper hereAbstract.                                                                     

  14. The puzzles of ground. Philosophical Studies. 2019. Paper hereAbstract.                                                   

  15. A Simple Proof of Grounding Internality. Thought. 2019. Paper hereAbstract.                                                                          

  16. The logic of ground. Journal of Philosophical Logic. 2019. Paper hereAbstract.

In Preparation

Relational (in)equality

Wealth, Power, and Equality. Draft here. AbstractHandout.

Is coercion objectionable because it is inegalitarian? Draft here. Abstract.

Egalitarian Anarchism. Draft hereAbstract. Handout.

A Relational Egalitarian Solution to the Boundary Problem. Draft here. Abstract

Corporations and Subordination. Draft here. Abstract

Contact With Value


Adam Lovett and Stefan Riedener. Touching the Good. Draft hereAbstract.

Institutions and Autonomy

The Fair Share Theory of Conventional Normativity. Draft Here. Abstract

An Institutional Theory of Autonomy. Draft Here. Abstract

Book Reviews


  1. Review of Wealth and Power: Philosophical Perspectives, edited by Michael Bennett, Huub Brouwer, and Rutger Claassen. Forthcoming. Economics and Philosophy. Paper here.                                   

  2. Review of Ethical Autonomy: The Rise of Self-Rule, by Lucas Swaine. Journal of Moral Philosophy. 2022. Paper here.                        

Public Pieces


  1. Should the House of Lords be more democratic?. British Politics and Policy. 2023. Online here.                                                            

  2. Written evidence submitted to the National Security Strategy Joint Committee's inquiry into `Defending Democracy.' Online here.                                      

  3. Should a man accused of murder run for re-election? The curious case of Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden". ABC Religion & Ethics. March 2024. Online here.


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