Jeff Carroll

Hilliard Family Jefferson Fellow
Cambridge, Ohio
B.A. Ohio State University (2013)
M.A. Georgia State University (2016)
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences


Jeff Carroll is a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at the University of Virginia. His research is focused on issues in political and social philosophy, the philosophy of law, and topics at the intersection of philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE). Jeff specializes in how to theorize about justice and political normativity and has related interests in democratic theory. His work has recently been published in The Journal of Politics, Social Theory and Practice, and The HEC Forum. He was an Adam Smith Fellow through the Mercatus Center in 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020, and he received a Humane Studies Fellowship in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. In 2020, he was awarded an All-University Graduate Teaching Award. Jeff received his B.A. from The Ohio State University in philosophy and political science and his M.A. in philosophy from Georgia State University.

Thesis Description:

Dynamic Ideal Theory
My dissertation defends a new methodological approach to how we theorize about political normativity. In contrast to many static theories of political normativity that operate analogous to how Google Maps works in travel, I argue for a dynamic methodology that is more analogous to how scientific practice proceeds. This means that theorizing should be highly fallibilistic and, if necessary, revisionistic. Still, this is a form of ideal theorizing that explores the feasibility frontier of what is politically possible. The central aim of the dissertation is to bring together, on the one hand, the need to take seriously the epistemic limitations of human beings as theorists and, on the other, the need to explore and pursue more just ways of organizing our shared political life.

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