Ted Lechterman

theodore lechterman
Theodore M. ("Ted") Lechterman is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Ethics in AI since 2020 and an affiliated Research Fellow at Wolfson College since 2021. His research addresses problems in applied ethics from the perspective of political philosophy. Lechterman was trained at Harvard and Princeton and has held postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford, Goethe-Universität, and the Hertie School. He frequently advises organizations and contributes to public debates in North America and Europe.



Lechterman, T.M. Forthcoming. “Accountability.” In The Oxford Handbook of AI Governance. Edited by J. Bullock, Y.C. Chen, J. Himmelreich, V. Hudson, A. Korinek, M. Young, and B. Zhang. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
Lechterman, T.M. 2021. The Tyranny of Generosity: Why Philanthropy Corrupts Our Politics and How We Can Fix It. New York: Oxford University Press.
Lechterman, T.M. 2021. “The Potestas of Practice.” History of Political Thought, 42, no. 2: 240–51. 
Véliz, C., C. Prunkl, M. Phillips-Brown, and T.M. Lechterman. 2021. “We Might Be Afraid of Black Box Algorithms.” Journal of Medical Ethics 47: 339–40. DOI: 10.1136/medethics-2021-107462. 
Lechterman, T.M. 2020. “The Effective Altruist’s Political Problem.” Polity 52, no. 1: 88–115.


Lechterman’s research investigates what makes democracy valuable and how that value applies to different practices and agents. His current work considers the challenges and opportunities that AI creates for democratic theory. Does the promise of non-human superintelligence undermine reigning justifications of democratic governance? How should authority over AI design decisions be distributed? How, if at all, should AI be applied to repair or enhance democratic processes? Outside of AI, he has written extensively on how democratic values apply to private initiatives to promote the public good. He is the author of The Tyranny of Generosity: Why Philanthropy Corrupts Our Politics and How We Can Fix It (New York: Oxford University Press, 2021).
Lechterman is a lecturer and tutorial leader for the Undergraduate Special Subject: Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technology.