Paul E. Schofield

Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy




Ph.D., Harvard University; B.A., University of Notre Dame

Paul works in ethics, political philosophy, social philosophy, and action theory. In his work, he identifies and examines parallels between individual persons and groups, with the goal of shedding light on topics in moral and political philosophy—topics such as the nature of authority, duty, wellbeing, human flourishing, justice, and rights. His approach is to identify ways that an individual can be fractured like a group, to identify ways that a group can be unified like an individual, and to examine the normative implications of such parallels. Currently, he’s thinking about whether a person can have moral duties to herself, in the way that members of a society have duties to one another. He’s also wondering if the existence of such duties might license paternalistic intervention on the part of the state, in order to ensure that those duties are discharged.

At Bates, Paul teaches Contemporary Moral Disputes, Philosophy from Descartes to Kant, and Capitalism and Its Critics. He also teaches a short term course entitled, “Teaching Philosophy,” in which students design and then teach a mini-philosophy course at Lewiston High School.