Thomas Mulligan GeorgetownGISME
Thomas Mulligan is a faculty fellow at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. He conducts research in epistemology and political philosophy. He currently is writing a book, Justice and the Meritocratic State, in which he advances a theory of distributive justice grounded in the idea that people ought to get the things that they deserve. In a meritocracy, equal opportunity is established through the redistribution of undeserved wealth and public spending on children; wealth and income reflect citizens’ productive contributions and not their family circumstances or their ability to extract economic rents; and jobs are distributed strictly on the basis of merit.  Mulligan's work has appeared in EthicsPolitical TheorySynthese, and other journals. Before entering academia, he served in the U.S. Navy and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Published Works


Thomas Mulligan (w/ Huub Brouwer) "Why Not Be a Desertist?  Three Arguments for Desert and Against Luck Egalitarianism"  Philosophical Studies (accepted)

Thomas Mulligan, Justice and the Meritocratic State (Routledge)

Thomas Mulligan, "Plural Voting for the Twenty-first Century" Philosophical Quarterly 68: 286-306.

Thomas Mulligan, "Uncertainty in Hiring Does Not Justify Affirmative Action" Philosophia 45: 1299-1311.


Thomas Mulligan, "Social Choice or Collective Decision-making: What Is Politics All About?”  In What Is Pluralism? The Question of Pluralism in Politics, eds. V. Kaul and I. Salvatore, Routledge.

Thomas Mulligan, "What’s Wrong with Libertarianism? The Meritocratic Diagnosis." In The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism, eds. J. Brennan, D. Schmidtz, and B. van der Vossen, Routledge.


Thomas Mulligan, "A Note on the Epistemology of Disagreement and Politics" Political Theory 44: 657–63.


Thomas Mulligan, "Disagreement, Peerhood, and Three Paradoxes of Conciliationism" Synthese 192: 67–78.

Thomas Mulligan, "The Limits of Liberal Tolerance" Public Affairs Quarterly 29: 277–95.

Thomas Mulligan, "On the Compatibility of Epistocracy and Public Reason" Social Theory and Practice 41: 458–76.

Thomas Mulligan, "On Harry Frankfurt’s “Equality as a Moral Ideal” Ethics 125: 1171–73.