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Avital Simhony

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Associate Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 3902
Biography: 

Avital Simhony's present research project is a book entitled "Liberalism, Rightly Understood: The Tradition from T.H. Green to John Rawls." Challenging the conventional wisdom—that whatever else liberalism is, it is, beyond question, a type of individualism—is Professor Avital's task. To accomplish this task is to cast liberalism in new progressive light, largely unseen by standard scholarship. The main thesis of the book is that liberal mutualism, not liberal individualism, runs through modern liberalism’s main protagonists from T. H. Green through L. T. Hobhouse, John Dewey, Joseph Raz, John Rawls and others of their ilk. These leading liberal theorists advocate—unlike libertarianism with its one-sided individualism, and socialism with its over socialized sociability—a kind of mutualism: a normative theory premised on the claim that individuality and sociality are essentially complementary, each shaping the other and dependent on it, each incapable of independent existence. For liberals believe that every individual’s personality is woven of both individuality and sociality. How does the mutualist supposition shape modern liberalism? What would be the most effective approach to getting a good handle on liberal mutualism?

Education: 
  • DPhil. Politics, Oxford University, UK 1981. Thesis: The Social and Political Thought of the British Idealists. (Concentration: Political Theory) Supervisor: Alan Ryan.
  • M.A. Political Science (Cum Laude), Haifa University, Israel 1975. Thesis: The Concept of Political Obligation in Locke's Political Thought. (Concentration: Political Theory)
  •  B.A. Political Science and Judaic Studies (Cum Laude), Haifa University, Israel 1972
Research Interests: 

My present research project is a book entitled Liberalism, Rightly Understood: The Tradition from T.H. Green to John Rawls. Challenging the conventional wisdom—that whatever else liberalism is, it is, beyond question, a type of individualism—is my task. To accomplish this task is to cast liberalism in new progressive light, largely unseen by standard scholarship. The main thesis of the book is that liberal mutualism, not liberal individualism, runs through modern liberalism’s main protagonists from T. H. Green through L. T. Hobhouse, John Dewey, Joseph Raz, John Rawls and others of their ilk. These leading liberal theorists advocate—unlike libertarianism with its one-sided individualism, and socialism with its over socialized sociability—a kind of mutualism: a normative theory premised on the claim that individuality and sociality are essentially complementary, each shaping the other and dependent on it, each incapable of independent existence. For liberals believe that every individual’s personality is woven of both individuality and sociality. How does the mutualist supposition shape modern liberalism? What would be the most effective approach to getting a good handle on liberal mutualism?

Publications: 
  • Avital Simhony. ‘The Political Philosophy of the British Idealists’. Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century (2014).
  • Avital Simhony. ‘The "Social" is Prior to the "Political": Bosanquet Revisited (Again)'. Hegel Bulletin (2013).
  • Avital Simhony. T.H. Green Was No Liberal Consequentialist of Any Kind. Collingwood and British Idealism Studies (Symposium on David Weinstein's Utilitarianism and the New Liberalism) (See "Additional Information") (2009).
  • . . Review of: The Common Good as a Project of Reconciliation: The Social Morality of T. H. Green (2007).
  • . . T. H. Green and Contemporary Philosophy (2006).
  • Simhony, Avital (Author) . Rights that Bind: T. H. Green on Rights and Community. T. H. Green: Ethics, Metaphysics, and Political Philosophy (2006).
  • Avital Simhony. A Liberalism of the Common Good: Some Recent Studies of T. H. Green's Moral and Political Theory. British Journal of Politics & International Relations, Special Issue: British Idealism (2005).
  • Simhony, Avital. A Liberalism of the Common Good: Some Recent Studies of T. H. Green's Moral and Political Theory. (2005).
  • . . Review of: T. H. Green and the Development of Ethical Socialism (2004).
  • Avital Simhony. T. H. Green's Community of rights: An essay on the Complexity of liberalism. Journal of Political Ideologies (2003).
  • Simhony, Avital, Weinstein, David. The New Liberalism: Reconciling Liberty and Community. (2001).
Research Activity: 
Summer 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 210Political Ideologies
POS 346Problems of Democracy
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 443Contemporary Political Theory
POS 492Honors Directed Study
POS 493Honors Thesis
POS 541Modern Political Theory
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 346Problems of Democracy
POS 443Contemporary Political Theory
POS 492Honors Directed Study
POS 493Honors Thesis
Summer 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 210Political Ideologies
POS 346Problems of Democracy
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 341History of Political Phil II
POS 443Contemporary Political Theory
POS 492Honors Directed Study
POS 493Honors Thesis
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 346Problems of Democracy
POS 443Contemporary Political Theory
POS 492Honors Directed Study
POS 493Honors Thesis
Summer 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 210Political Ideologies
POS 346Problems of Democracy
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 341History of Political Phil II
POS 443Contemporary Political Theory
POS 492Honors Directed Study
POS 493Honors Thesis
POS 792Research
POS 799Dissertation
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 210Political Ideologies
POS 346Problems of Democracy
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 346Problems of Democracy
POS 443Contemporary Political Theory
POS 492Honors Directed Study
POS 493Honors Thesis
POS 792Research
POS 799Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
SGS 394Special Topics
POS 394Special Topics
POS 492Honors Directed Study
POS 493Honors Thesis
POS 541Modern Political Theory
POS 590Reading and Conference
POS 790Reading and Conference
POS 799Dissertation
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 210Political Ideologies
POS 346Problems of Democracy
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 210Political Ideologies
POS 443Contemporary Political Theory
POS 492Honors Directed Study
POS 493Honors Thesis
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 210Political Ideologies
POS 346Problems of Democracy
POS 492Honors Directed Study
POS 493Honors Thesis
Presentations: 
  • Avital Simhony. JS Mill: A Liberal Manifesto?. On Liberty Yokohama Workshop: "The Universality of On Liberty" (Sep 2009).
  • Simhony, Avital. Citizenship in America. The Wye Faculty Seminar (Jul 2007).
  • Ballstadt, Kurt, Hurst, Isobel, Simhony, Avital. Education for the Future: Public versus Religous Schooling. Oxford Round Table (Mar 2007).
  • Gauss, Jerry, Simhony, Avital. Liberty, Social Cooperation and the Division of Labor. Liberty Fund Colloquium (Jan 2007).
  • Simhony, Avital. Rethinking the Liberal Tradition: J. S. Mill and T. H. Green. Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting (Mar 2004).
  • Simhony, Avital. Liberalism, Justice and the Common Good. APSA meeting (Aug 2001).
  • Simhony, Avital. The Reconciliation Project: T. H. Green and Henry Sidgwick. International Society for Utilitarian Studies (ISUS) Conference (Mar 2000).
Service: 
  • Dean Bivona's Planning Committee for the UG Research Symposium, Committee Member (2007 - Present)
  • Dean Bivona's committee on College-wide undergraduate research symposium, Member (2005 - Present)
  • Undergraduate committee, An Appointed Member (2005 - Present)
  • British Idealism Studies, series 3: T. H. Green, Member of editorial board (2002 - Present)
  • British Idealist Studies, Series 3: Green, Published by Imprint Academic., Member of the editorial board (2002 - Present)
  • British Idealist Studies Series 3: Green, Member of the editorial board (2000 - Present)
  • Ethics, Journal of Politics, Polity, Philosophical Review, A reviewer (1999 - Present)
  • British Idealism and Collingwood Studies, Series 3: T. H. Green, Board member (1997 - Present)
  • History of Political Thought, Political Studies, Reviewer (1996 - Present)
  • Advisory committe of the department, Elected Member (2002 - 2006)
  • Faculty Mentoring Program, Mentoring Assistant Professor Stephen Toth (ASU West) (2004 - 2005)
  • Advisory committe of the department, An Elected member (2004)
  • British Idealism Series published by Imprint Academic, Member of the editorial board of T. H. Green Series, no. 3 (2004)
  • Ethics, History of Political Thought, Political Studies, Reviewer for these journals (2004)
  • Undergraduate Committee, An Appointed Member (2004)
  • British Idealism Studies, on the editorial board (2003)
  • Ethics, History of Political Thought, and Political Studies, A reviewer for these journals (2003)