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 & Economics, Law, Ethics and Philosophy, Director of the UPF Center for Animal Ethics, and President of the Great Ape Project-Spain. 

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 & Singer P 2022, Los derechos de los simios, Trotta, Madrid.

- Casal P 2022,  'Hermano primate', TintaLibre 104: 51-53.

- Casal P 2022, 'Captivity Seriously Damages the Brain of Intelligent Mammals'. Interview with Lori Marino, Mètode 113(2): 8-13.

Selected research activities

Articles in El Caballo de Nietzsche:  'Los derechos de los simios 30 años después' 2/9, 'Pactos con el diablo' 7/9, 'Gorilas en el virus' 24/11.

Keynotes: Uncertain Future Central European Univ Annual Conf 6/4; Science and Metaethics Sinú Univ, Colombia 5/6; Ape Rights UPF 9/6; Nonhuman Rights Simon Bolivar Univ, Ecuador 8/10; Ape Rights (with P Singer) Cambridge Univ Animal Law Center 23/10.

Talks: Future Generations Chaire Hoover's 30th Anniversary Conf 11/2; Planetary Wellbeing Europaeum Conf 22/2; Personismo Carlos III Univ 1/3; Responsibility Oxford Univ Uehiro Center 26/10; Conservationism, Warwick Univ 15/10.

Supervised: C Astier's PhD Global Trade 16/3; M Montes's PhD Animal Personhood 5/10, E Rubio's PhD Human Rights as Erasmus 6/6; D Exposito's MA Unitarianism 23/6; A Bribosia's MA Carbon Quotas 23/6, J Lucena's MA The Egalitarian Ethos 23/6; M Müller's MA Bioenhancement 23/6.

Examined: J Tyssedal's PhD Meaningful Work Aarhus Univ 24/5; P Magaña's PhD Political Representation of Animals UPF 30/10; J Tarin's MA The Procreative Asymmetry UB 13/9.

Conferences organized: Global Justice 16/3; C Sypnowich's book on G.A. Cohen 6/5; J Bidadanure's Justice Across Ages 21/5, Two Days with Peter Singer 9-10/6;  Workshop on O Horta 10/6; Workshop on J McMahan's 3/10; Conf on L Gruen 7/10.

Evaluated: Swiss National Science Foundation Grants 15/5-21/7. 

Directed: CAE, which produced reports: EU Research and Animal Suffering, Alternatives to Vivisection, and Guidelines for Journalists.

Media: Interviewed by T Pou for Ara 19/8; by J Valdeon for El Mundo 6/10; by A di Renzo for Extinction Rebellion documentary 4/10; Montreal Declaration on Animals video 5/10; by ECA Podcasts, Lund 5/12; by Galaxia Verde, 91.4 FM 12/12.