Sam Clark Lancaster University
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  • Faculty, Lancaster University
  • PhD, University of York, 2004.

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About me
I work on the nature, conditions, and political significance of human flourishing (aka well-being, welfare, the good life), and on various kinds of text (utopia, dialogue, autobiography) which investigate these issues. I have published a book, Living Without Domination, and articles in journals including Res Publica, Philosophy, Inquiry, and Ratio.
My works
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  1. Samuel Clark (2014). Hume's Uses of Dialogue. Hume Studies 39 (1):61-76.
    What does David Hume do with the dialogue form in Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion? I pursue this question in the context of a partial taxonomy of uses for the dialogue form in philosophy in general—although I want to emphasize the word “partial.” My driving concern here is Hume’s use of dialogue, not to list all possible uses of dialogue or to draw conclusions about the uses of dialogue in philosophy in general. My question sits between two other related questions: a (...)
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  2. Samuel Clark (2013). Under the Mountain: Basic Training, Individuality, and Comradeship. Res Publica 19 (1):67-79.
    This paper addresses questions of friendship and political community by investigating a particular complex case, comradeship in the life of the soldier. Close attention to soldiers’ accounts of their own lives, successes and failures shows that the relationship of friendship to comradeship, and of both to the success of the soldier’s individual and communal life, is complex and tense. I focus on autobiographical accounts of basic training in order to describe, and to explore the tensions between, two positions: (1) Becoming (...)
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  3. Samuel Clark (2012). Pleasure as Self-Discovery. Ratio 25 (3):260-276.
    This paper uses readings of two classic autobiographies, Edmund Gosse's Father & Son and John Stuart Mill's Autobiography, to develop a distinctive answer to an old and central question in value theory: What role is played by pleasure in the most successful human life? A first section defends my method. The main body of the paper then defines and rejects voluntarist, stoic, and developmental hedonist lessons to be taken from central crises in my two subjects' autobiographies, and argues for a (...)
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  4. Samuel Clark (2011). Love, Poetry, and the Good Life: Mill's Autobiography and Perfectionist Ethics. Inquiry 53 (6):565-578.
    I argue for a perfectionist reading of Mill’s account of the good life, by using the failures of development recorded in his Autobiography as a way to understand his official account of happiness in Utilitarianism. This work offers both a new perspective on Mill’s thought, and a distinctive account of the role of aesthetic and emotional capacities in the most choiceworthy human life. I consider the philosophical purposes of autobiography, Mill’s disagreements with Bentham, and the nature of competent judges and (...)
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  5. Samuel Clark (2011). Moral Realism as a Moral Doctrine – Matthew H. Kramer. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (243):425-427.
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  6. Samuel Clark (2010). Kicking Against the Pricks : Anarchist Perfectionism and the Conditions of Independence. In Benjamin Franks & Matthew Wilson (eds.), Anarchism & Moral Philosophy. Palgrave.
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  7. Samuel Clark (2009). No Abiding City: Hume, Naturalism, and Toleration. Philosophy 84 (1):75-94.
    This paper rereads David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion as dramatising a distinctive, naturalistic account of toleration. I have two purposes in mind: first, to complete and ground Hume's fragmentary explicit discussion of toleration; second, to unearth a potentially attractive alternative to more recent, Rawlsian approaches to toleration. To make my case, I connect Dialogues and the problem of toleration to the wider themes of naturalism, scepticism and their relation in Hume's thought, before developing a new interpretation of Dialogues part (...)
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  8. Samuel Clark (2007). Living Without Domination: The Possibility of an Anarchist Utopia. Ashgate.
    The book is distinctive in bringing the rigour of analytic political philosophy to anarchism, which is all too often dismissed out of hand or skated over in ...
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  9. Samuel Clark (2007). Society Against Societies: The Possibility of Transcultural Criticism. Res Publica 13 (2):107-125.
    This paper argues against particularism about social criticism of the form presented by Walzer. I contend that while limitation of the scope of criticism depends on the existence of our shared meanings, which are not shared by them, shared meaning itself depends on society. So, an account of society showing that societies are not discrete and mutually inaccessible refutes particularism. I argue for such an account. I deal with the objection that the focus of particularism is culture, not society, and (...)
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  10. Samuel Clark, Anarchism and the Myth of the Primitive.
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