Joshua Preiss, Professor

Address: 224B Armstrong Hall (AH 224B)
Phone: (507) 389-5514


  • Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago
  • B.A. in Philosophy from Gustavus Adolphus College


Joshua Preiss is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Minnesota State University, Mankato. His research is in social and political philosophy, political economy, ethics, and the philosophy of economics. His recent book, Just Work for All: The American Dream in 21st Century, is available from Routledge. For academic year 2016-2017, Preiss was Associate Professor of Political Theory at Brown University. He is on the editorial board of Business Ethics Quarterly, and the creator and host of the Pandemic Ethics podcast series. Preiss regularly teaches courses in social and political philosophy, business ethics, philosophy of economics, and the philosophy of race, class, and gender.

SelecteD Media:

Selected Publications:

  • Just Work for All: The American Dream in the 21st Century (Routledge 2021).
    • For more information, including reviews from Dani Rodrik, Mark Blyth, Leslie McCall, Peter Dietsch, Lisa Herzog, Eric Schliesser, and Anton Korinek, visit
      • For at least 20 years, Adam Smith scholarship has turned on severing his association with neoliberal free-market fundamentalism. And yet, despite so many compelling interventions in political science, economic history, and philosophy, the recovery of Smith’s thought has not been able to specify its political thrust. At the same time, twenty-first-century economics has witnessed an equally persistent trend. The equitable economic expansion of the mid-twentieth century no longer occurs in the wealthiest capitalist democracies. The data overwhelmingly indicate that, when left to their own devices, unfettered markets are neither fair nor free. Although such studies have been found convincing, they leave us with the lingering question about what is to be done. In Just Work for All, Joshua Preiss seamlessly marries these two currents of scholarship to deliver an answer…
      • In debates between liberal egalitarians and libertarians, realism and idealism, and “capitalism” and “socialism,” we have lost sight of just work in contemporary political theorizing. In this respect, the problem lies with us as political philosophers. Preiss elegantly demonstrates that the reigning conceptual frameworks of justice do not capture the consensus that already exists around how to alleviate the vicissitudes of our winner-take-all economy. By taking just work seriously, Preiss articulates a practicable framework that not only grants individual agency but also takes into consideration the structural conditions that make an ethic of personal responsibility practicable…
      • Preiss’s study begins and ends with specific policy positions that would be able to generate enough support if they were articulated within the paradigm of just work. Yet these proposals do not capture its main contribution: the American Dream as a theory of justice, a theory that captures shared public intuitions without compromising philosophical rigor.


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