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Department Welcomes New Associate Professor Adina Preda

preda Dr Adina Preda was recently appointed Associate Professor in Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. Before joining Trinity, Dr Preda was a senior lecturer in political theory in UL, a research fellow at the Centre for Research in Ethics at the University of Montreal (CREUM), a Hoover fellow at the Chaire Hoover, Catholic University of Louvain, and a lecturer in political theory at UCD. She is leading a 5-year research project in political philosophy, REAL - ‘Rights and Egalitarianism’, funded by a €1.3m ERC Consolidator grant. The project, which aims to demonstrate that egalitarian policies are compatible with a commitment to individual rights, strengthens the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy’s commitment to growing its expertise in the field of ethics and values.

REAL opens up new perspectives in moral and political philosophy by closing the rift between analytical theories of rights and egalitarian theories of distributive justice. There is a perception in both the academic and public discourse that pursuing egalitarian economic policies is incompatible with a commitment to rights. Socialist thinkers have traditionally been sceptical of rights, and contemporary egalitarian theories are often silent about them. At the same time, theories that take rights seriously either neglect the distributive dimension or suggest that egalitarian redistribution may infringe on individual rights. Egalitarianism and rights thus appear to be inhospitable to each other.

This project seeks first, to understand what explains this divide and second, to demonstrate that it can be bridged. REAL is motivated by the thought that a theory of justice would be more action-guiding if it could translate its recommendations into moral and subsequently legal rights. It thus aims to show that egalitarianism is not only compatible with a commitment to rights but that they are mutually supportive. The project will critically examine theories of rights and egalitarian theories of justice and adopts an analytical approach that blends arguments from political and legal philosophy, normative ethics and axiology in order to provide a novel and solid framework that integrates the two and advances current debates in these areas.

Contact Dr Preda