Jeff McMahan

jeff mcmahan


2014 - present White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy, Oxford.
2003 - 2014 Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University.
1986 - 2003 Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor of Philosophy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
1983 - 1986 Title A Fellow in Philosophy, St. John’s College, Cambridge.




PhD. Philosophy, Cambridge.

Dissertation: ‘Problems of Population Theory’, supervised by Bernard Williams.

1983 MA. Philosophy, Oxford.

BA. Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

First Class Honours.


BA. Major in English Literature, University of the South, USA.

Summa cum Laude.


‘Climate Change, War, and the Non-Identity Problem’, Journal of Moral Philosophy (forthcoming).

‘Defence Against Parfit’s Torturers’, in McMahan et al., eds., Principles and Persons: The Legacy of Derek Parfit (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
‘Suffering and Moral Status’, in Stephen Clarke, Julian Savulescu, and Hazem Zohny, eds., Rethinking Moral Status (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
‘Proportionality in Morality and Law’, in Claus Kreß and Robert Lawless, eds., Necessity and Proportionality in International Peace and Security Law (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

‘Early Death and Later Suffering’, in Espen Gamlund and Carl Tollef Solberg, eds., Saving People from the Harm of Death (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019).

‘Nonresponsible Killers’, Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (2018): 651-682.
‘Doing Good and Doing the Best’, in Paul Woodruff, ed., The Ethics of Giving (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).


I have written primarily about a range of issues concerning harming, killing, and saving. These issues include war, self- and other-defense, abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, the metaphysics of personal identity, the metaphysics of death, the evaluation of death, the moral status of animals, causing people to exist, disability, torture, philanthropy, and so on.

During Hilary and Trinity terms 2021 I will be teaching a graduate seminar on the ethics of creating, preserving, and ending lives. I will be discussing issues in population ethics and their relevance to various problems in practical ethics.