The Applied Ethics Institute
Utica College

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The Applied Ethics Institute

Director of the Applied Ethics Institute, Christopher Riddle, is editing a special issue of 'Essays in Philosophy' that will appear in July 2015.  Below you will find the call for papers.

Philosophy and Gun Control

Volume 16, Number 2
Issue date: July 2015
Submission deadline: March 31, 2015
Issue Editor: Christopher A. Riddle (Utica College)

Gun violence is an unfortunate reality in our global society. Recent discussions surrounding this topic have been polarizing and emotionally charged. There is an increased need for engagement in a rational and measured debate about the ethics of owning guns and the permissibility or regulating or restricting their ownership.

Typical treatments of the topic engage with the conflict between individual rights of autonomy and self-defense and collective rights of freedom from assault and violence. There are also conflicting claims about the ideal way to protect individuals in a society. Some suggest that more private ownership of guns increases collective security and decreases crime while others suggest the contrary: the presence of more guns decreases safety and increases the possibility of violent crime.

More generally, there is a concern about the obligation of the state and its institutions in assuring autonomy rights, social security, and individual protection.

Essays in Philosophy invites the submission of papers that explore some aspect of philosophy and gun control. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • autonomy rights
  • freedom
  • self-defense
  • harm reduction
  • obligations of the State
  • crime reduction
  • property rights
  • Constitutional guarantees
  • gun culture and society
  • political and economic implications

All submissions should be sent to the general editor via email: