Paula Casal

Paula Casal

Universitat Pompeu Fabra


Paula Casal works at UPF's Law Department, having held positions at Reading University (2004-8) and Keele University (1996-2004). She was also Fellow in Ethics at Harvard University (1999-2000), a Keele Junior Research Fellow, also at Harvard (2000-1), Hoover Fellow at Université Catholique de Louvain (2001-02), Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of Oxford (2002-4) and Christopher Family Fellow at Stanford University (2018). Her work has appeared in journals like Ethics, Economics and Philosophy, Journal of Medical Ethics, Journal of Moral PhilosophyJournal of Political Philosophy, Hypatia, Political Studies and Utilitas. She is Associate Editor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and Law, Ethics and Philosophy, President of the Great Ape Project-Spain, and co-director of the UPF Center for Animal Ethics.

Research interests

My main field is distributive justice, which is a part of political philosophy that examines how social institutions should distribute benefits and burdens within a family or a nation-state, or across countries or generations. This requires assessing general principles (including equality, priority, and sufficiency) as well as policy responses (such as taxation and public spending proposals) to specific problems like gender inequality, local and global poverty or climate change. I have written from a biologically-informed perspective about gender, nonhuman animals, personhood and the distinction between natural and social inequality. I have also written about more specific issues, such as how to distribute the costs of child-rearing, the right to sea-access for landlocked states, the moral limits on religious and cultural accommodation, xenotransplantation and the Non-Identity Problem, and the distinction medical ethicists draw between therapy and enhancement.

Selected publications

Casal, P 2020. ‘G. A. Cohen’s Historical Materialism: A Feminist Critique’, Journal of Political Ideologies, vol. 25 (3): 316-333

Casal, P 2020. ‘Reforma fiscal ecológica progresiva. Una defensa’, Cuestiones de Justicia Global, ed. Johnny Davila, Valencia: Tirant Lo Blanc.

Selected research activities

Grants: Marie Słodowska Curie Award on Migration Ethics, as mentor of Kieran Oberman, UPF Planetary Wellbeing Grant  for the project Food, Fertility and Foodprints, with Andrew Williams, MINECO Retos PhD grant for Vicky Kristan, AGAUR PhD Grants for supervisees Macarena Montes and Laura Sánchez de la Sierra.

Talk-Interviews: “Conversación con Paula Casal sobre justicia distributiva” (Part I), “Conversación con Paula Casal sobre derechos de los animales” (Part II) Podcasts and videos produced by the Philosophy Blog Estrategia Minerva. Interviewed by Óscar Pérez de la Fuente et al., Carlos III University (5.4.2020). “Tauromaquia y derechos del animal”, Antonio Ruiz de Montoya University, Law Department, Lima, Interviewed by Isaac Lobato (2.10.2020).

Contributed to documentary Persona (no) humana, by Álex Cuéllar and Rafael G. Sánchez, Dacsa Productions, examining philosophical and legal personhood for great apes.

Thesis supervised: Sara González Fernández, The Peter Singer Controversiy. A Debate on Disability and Quality of Life, MA, UPF, 2020; Antonio Torregrosa Sala, Regulating International Surrogacy, MA, UPF, 2020.

Thesis examined: Henrik Skaug Saetra, Big Data’s Threefold Treat to Liberty. Surveillance, Nudging and the Curation of Information, PhD, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, 2020.

Co-organised research and dissemination activities at the UPF Center for Animal Ethics, and invited guests for a series of online talks.

Refereed for EthicsAustralasian Journal of PhilosophyPolitics, Philosophy & Economics, Journal of Political PhilosophyLaw, Ethics and Philosophy.