Chris Bertram Bristol University
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About me
Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol. My book Rousseau and The Social Contract appeared in 2003 in Routledge's Philosophy Guidebooks series. Main research interests are in modern social contract theory, in theories of justice (especially global distributive justice, including issues concerning territory and migration) and in public justification.
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  1. Chris Bertram, Coercion of Foreigners, Territory and Compensation.
    Justifications for state authority are typically directed towards the good of those subject to that authority. But, because of their territorial nature, states exercise coercion not only towards insiders but also towards non-members. Such coercion can take the form of denying outsiders the right to enter a territory or to settle in it permanently, as well as various restraints on trade and association. When coercion is directed at insiders, it often comes packaged with various claims about distributive justice, including claims (...)
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  2. Christopher Bertram, Justice and Property: On the Institutional Thesis Concerning Property.
    The institutional theory of property is that view that property rights are entirely and essentially conventional and are the creatures of states and coercively backed legal systems. In this paper, I argue that, although states and legal systems have a valuable role in defining property rights, the institutional story is not the whole story. Rather, the property rights hat we have reason to recognize as part of justice are partly conventional in character and partly rooted in universal human interests and (...)
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  3. Christopher Bertram (forthcoming). Jean Jacques Rousseau. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau remains an important figure in the history of philosophy, both because of his contributions to political philosophy and moral psychology and because of his influence on later thinkers. Rousseau's own view of philosophy and philosophers was firmly negative, seeing philosophers as the post-hoc rationalizers of self-interest, as apologists for various forms of tyranny, and as playing a role in the alienation of the modern individual from humanity's natural impulse to compassion. The concern that dominates Rousseau's work is to (...)
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  4. Christopher Bertram (2013). Competing Methods of Territorial Control, Migration and Justice. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 17 (1):1-15.
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  5. Christopher Bertram (2013). Property in the Moral Life of Human Beings. Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):404-424.
    Liberal egalitarian political philosophers have often argued that private property is a legal convention dependent on the state and that complaints about taxation from entitlement theorists are therefore based on a conceptual mistake. But our capacity to grasp and use property concepts seems too embedded in human nature for this to be correct. This essay argues that many standard arguments that property is constitutively a legal convention fail, but that the opposition between conventionalists and natural rights theorists is outmoded. In (...)
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  6. Christopher Bertram (2013). Rousseau and Ethics. In Roger Crisp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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  7. Christopher Bertram (2012). Christopher Bertram. In Gerald F. Gaus & Fred D'Agostino (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Social and Political Philosophy. Routledge. 82.
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  8. Chris Bertram (2010). Global Justice. The Philosophers' Magazine 50 (50):26-27.
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  9. Christopher Bertram (2009). Exploitation and Future Generations. In Axel Gosseries & Lukas H. Meyer (eds.), Intergenerational Justice. Oup Oxford.
     
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  10. Christopher Bertram (2009). Why Rousseau Still Matters. The Philosophers' Magazine 47 (47):34-42.
    It would be a mistake to draw the conclusion that Rousseau believes that we should simply disregard what others think and depend entirely and narcissistically on our own evaluation of ourselves and our merits. Once self-love is loose in the world, it is an inescapable feature of our psychology. It is something that it is difficult to tame, but it has to be done.
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  11. Christopher Bertram (2006). Cosmopolitanism and Inequality. Res Publica 12 (3):327-336.
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  12. Christopher Bertram (2005). Global Justice, Moral Development, and Democracy. In Gillian Brock & Harry Brighouse (eds.), The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism. Cambridge University Press.
     
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  13. Jeremy Stangroom & Chris Bertram (2005). Blog Off? The Philosophers' Magazine 29:70-74.
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  14. Chris Bertram (2004). Liberté et egalité. The Philosophers' Magazine 28:91-91.
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  15. Christopher Bertram (2004). Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Rousseau and the Social Contract. Routledge.
    Rousseau's Social Contract is a benchmark in political philosophy. It has inspired and influenced moral and political thought since publication and is widely studied for this reason. This GuideBook takes a thematic look at the text, discussing and examining ideas in the context of the time and their implications for future philosophical and political thought. It will be vital reading for anyone coming to the book for the first time.
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  16. C. Bertram (2003). DAVION, V. And WOLF, C.(Eds.)-The Idea of Political Liberalism: Essays on Rawls. Philosophical Books 44 (1):81-82.
     
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  17. C. Bertram (2003). MANDLE, J.-What's Left of Liberalism: An Interpretation and Defense of Justice as Fairness. Philosophical Books 44 (1):81-81.
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  18. Robert Nozick, Jos Leys, Maartje Schermer, Paul Schotsmans, Stephen Holland, William Desmond, Rolf Geiger, Jean-Christophe Merle, Nico Scarano & Christopher Bertram (2003). Promoting International Dialogue Between Fundamental and Applied Ethics. Ethical Perspectives 24 (2004):01-2014.
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  19. C. Bertram (1999). Brecher, B.-Getting What You Want. Philosophical Books 40:196-197.
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  20. Christopher Bertram (1998). Analytical Marxism: A Critique. Historical Materialism 3 (1):235-241.
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  21. Christopher Bertram & Alan Carling (1998). Stumbling Into Revolution: Analytical Marxism, Rationality and Collective Action. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 60:277-298.
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  22. Christopher Bertram (1997). Political Justification, Theoretical Complexity, and Democratic Community. Ethics 107 (4):563-583.
  23. Christopher Bertram (1996). Locke on Government. Cogito 10 (2):161-162.
  24. Christopher Bertram (1994). Self-Effacing Hobbesianism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 94:19 - 33.
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  25. Christopher Bertram (1993). A Hegel Dictionary. Cogito 7 (2):159-159.
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  26. Christopher Bertram (1993). Principles of Distributive Justice, Counterfactuals and History. Journal of Political Philosophy 1 (3):213–228.
  27. Christopher Bertram (1990). International Competition in Historical Materialism. New Left Review (183):116-128.
    Argues for an evolutionary mechanism to underpin the functional explanations at the center of Karl Marx's theory of history.
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  28. Christopher Bertram, Natural Rights to Migration?
    It is often claimed that states enjoy, as a consequence of their sovereign status, the right to control the passage of outsiders through their territory and that they have a discretion to admit or to refuse to admit outsiders, whether those outsiders be tourists, business travelers, would-be economic migrants, or even refugees. Or, to be more exact, such limitations on that right to control are derived from the agreement of states to treaties and conventions, agreement which they could have withheld (...)
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