Helena de Bres
Curriculum Vitae

(781) 283-2624
B.A., Victoria University; M.A., Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
FND 320
Helena de Bres
Associate Professor of Philosophy

Researches and teaches political and moral philosophy, with a focus on questions of distributive justice in global politics.

The question driving most of my research is this: which moral principles should we use to assess the distribution of benefits and burdens across the members of distinct states or nations? My main focus so far has been on developing a ""pluralistic"" answer to this question. On this approach, while some principles of global justice might apply at the level of the globe as a whole, others (likely most) will not, applying instead within forms of cross-border political, social or economic organization of a more limited or local variety. The picture is one of disaggregated justice for a disaggregated world. Within this project, I've written on such issues as the duties of the affluent toward the global poor, the fairness of the international trading regime and the moral justification for the state system. I've also discussed the question of whether or not we are morally obliged to purchase local food.

I'm also interested in moral philosophy, especially the question of what makes a life meaningful, and in philosophy of art.
I teach courses in political philosophy, ethics and philosophy of literature. You can find my cartoonish guide to taking philosophy classes here and descriptions of my papers and courses here.
In my spare time, I like to read, write fiction and essays, swim and wander outside.