Paula Casal

Universitat Pompeu Fabra


Paula Casal is an ICREA Professor at the Law Department of Universitat Pompeu Fabra. She was previously a Lecturer and a Reader in Moral and Political Philosophy at Reading University (2004-8), and a Lecturer at Keele University (1996-2004). She was also Fellow in Ethics at Harvard University (1999-2000), Keele Junior Research Fellow, also at Harvard (2000-1), Hoover Fellow at Université Catholique de Louvain (2001-02), and Leverhulme Research Fellow at Oxford University (2002-4). Her work has appeared in such journals as Ethics, Economics and Philosophy, Journal of Medical Ethics, Journal of Political Philosophy, Hypatia, Political Studies and Utilitas. She is an Associate Editor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics, co-editor of LEAP, President of the Great Ape Project-Spain, Academics Stand Against Poverty-Spain, and co-director of the UPF Center for Animal Ethics.

Research interests

I work on how social institutions should distribute resources. This requires assessing the general principles (such as equality, priority, and sufficiency) governing distributive decisions as well as more specific policies designed to promote social or global justice. I am particularly concerned with policy responses to global poverty, climate change and gender inequality, including various forms of taxation. I am also interested in the intersection between ethics and primatology, including the origins of empathy and resource-sharing as well as violence and gender inequality, the moral status of non-human animals, and the distinction between natural and social inequality. I have also written about how the costs of raising children should be distributed, sea-access for landlocked states, the moral limits to religious accommodation, and the difference medical ethics draws between therapy and enhancement.

Selected publications

Casal P 2018, ‘Distributive Justice and Human Nature’, inThe Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice, ed. S. Olsaretti, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 259-283.

Casal P 2018,  ‘Los derechos homínidos. Una defensa ecuménica‘, Daimon, 73, pp. 7-25.

Casal P 2018, ‘Interview with Robert Trivers‘, Mètode 98, pp. 23-28.

– Bartolini S, Brennan G, Casal P, Clayton M, Jaeggi R, Gopal N, Kelbessa W and Satz D 2018, ‘Social Progress: A Compass’ in International Panel on Social Progress, Rethinking Society for the 21st Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 3 vols.

Selected research activities

– Awards: Christopher Family Fellow at Stanford University.

– Papers delivered: ‘Conservative and Conservationist Sufficiency’ UPF, 1/2/18; Conference on Global Justice and Climate Change, Univ. of Costa Rica 30/4/2018; Environmental Humanities Dept, Stanford University 6/6/2018; ‘Ethics and Evolutionary Science’, ICREA Colloquium 24/3/2018; ‘The Rights of Persons and Other Animals’, Center for Health and Wellbeing, Princeton University 25/3/2018; ‘Ethical Principles and Climate Change’, Univ. of Costa Rica 9/5/2018; ‘Persons That Are Not Human’ to the entire St George School of Barcelona 6/11/2018; ‘Why Inequality Matters’, Fundació Catalunya-Europa 7/11/2018; ‘Distributive Justice and Female Longevity’, Palau Macaya 20/11/2018; and with A. Williams ‘Asymmetric Procreative Justice. A Defence’, McCoy Center for Ethics and Society, Stanford Univ. 11/5/2018 and ‘Reflecting on Inequality’, Palau Macaya 19/11/2018.

– Supervised: Antonio Barboza’s PhD Justice and Public Health and Enric Bea’s PhD Parental Transmission of Ethical and Political Values (both with A Williams); and Giovanni Massaro’s MA Moral Bioenhancement.

– Conferences organized: Sufficiency. Never Enough? (L Shields, Y Benbaji, K Lippert-Rasmussen, S Segall, D Axelsen, R Huseby…) 1/2/2018; Symposium on K Lippert-Rasmussen’s Relational Egalitarianism 5/10/2018.

– Evaluated: Intertalentum Grants.