About Me

Zwolinski-SmithHi. I’m a Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Diego, founder and director of USD’s Center for Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy, and director of USD’s undergraduate program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. I write about the basic income guarantee, exploitation, and the history of libertarian ideas.

I am currently writing or editing four books:


  • A Brief History of Libertarianism, with John Tomasi (under contract with Princeton University Press)
  • Universal Basic Income: What Everyone Needs to Know, with Miranda Fleischer (under contract with Oxford University Press)
  • The Routledge Companion to Libertarianism, with Ben Ferguson (under contract with Routledge)
  • Exploitation: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, with Ben Ferguson (under contract with Oxford University Press)

My research interests are generally in the intersection of ethics, law, and economics, with two specific areas of focus. The first involves the proper understanding and normative status of liberty and political libertarianism. Lately, I’ve been especially interested in libertarian approaches to defending a Basic Income Guarantee. The second area of interest has to do with the nature and moral significance of exploitation for individual ethics and political institutions.

In the Spring semester of 2021, I will be teaching PPE 101: Morality, Markets, and Government, as well as the capstone course in the PPE program, with a focus on intellectual property.