Piers Norris Turner

Piers Turner

Piers Norris Turner

Associate Professor & PPE Coordinator; Director, Center for Ethics and Human Values



368 University Hall
230 N Oval Mall
Columbus, OH

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Areas of Expertise

  • Political Philosophy
  • Ethics
  • John Stuart Mill


  • Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2009
  • M.A. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2004
  • M.Sc. London School of Economics and Political Science, 1998
  • B.A. Yale University, 1997

Piers Norris Turner is Associate Professor of Philosophy and (by courtesy) Political Science. He is also the Director of the Center for Ethics and Human Values and a faculty coordinator for the new interdisciplinary major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He also serves on the faculty advisory boards of the Sustainability Institute and the Program on Data and Governance (in the Moritz College of Law), and is an active participant in the OSU Political Theory Workshop.

His research focuses on utilitarianism and liberal political thought, especially as it relates to the moral and political philosophy of John Stuart Mill. He has published articles in a number of leading journals and is working on a manuscript entitled Mill’s Ethics for the Cambridge Elements of Ethics series.

With Gerald Gaus, he recently co-edited Public Reason in Political Philosophy: Classic Sources and Contemporary Commentaries (Routledge, 2017) and, with Jeremy Shearmur, he previously co-edited a collection of unpublished social and political writings by Karl Popper, called After The Open Society (Routledge, 2008).

Turner After The Open Society
Turner Public Reason Volume

Selected articles include:

• "The Arguments of On Liberty: Mill's Institutional Designs" [penultimate] Nineteenth-Century Prose (2020), Special issue on John Stuart Mill, ed. Sven Ove Hansson

• "Mill's Evolutionary Theory of Justice: Reflections on Persky" [draft version], Utilitas (2019), in a symposium on John Stuart Mill's socialism

• “John Stuart Mill on Luck and Distributive Justice," [draft version] in The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck, eds. Ian M. Church and Robert J. Hartman (Routledge, 2019)

• “The Rise of Liberal Utilitarianism: Bentham and Mill" [draft version] in The Blackwell Companion to 19th Century Philosophy, ed. J.A. Shand (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019)

• “Social Morality in Mill,” [draft version] in Public Reason in Political Philosophy: Classic Sources and Contemporary Commentaries, eds. Piers Norris Turner and Gerald Gaus (Routledge, 2017)

• “Mill and Modern Liberalism,” in A Companion to Mill, eds. Christopher Macleod and Dale Miller (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016)

• “Rules and Right in Mill,” Journal of the History of Philosophy 53:4 (October 2015), 723-745

• “Punishment and Discretion in Mill’s Utilitarianism,” Utilitas 27:2 (June 2015), 165-178

• “Mill and the Liberal Rejection of Legal Moralism,” History of Philosophy Quarterly 31:1 (January 2015), 79-99

• "On Felix Adler's 'The Freedom of Ethical Fellowship,'" Ethics 125:1 (October 2014), 208-210 *An uncut version of this article, which calls for a return to public philosophy in the spirit of the founders of the journal Ethics, can be found here: "The Practical Aim of Ethics".

• “‘Harm’ and Mill’s Harm Principle,” Ethics 124:2 (January 2014), 299-326

• “The Absolutism Problem in On Liberty,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43:3 (December 2013), 322-340

• "Authority, Progress, and the 'Assumption of Infallibility' in On Liberty," Journal of the History of Philosophy 51:1 (January 2013), 93-117