Wil Waluchow
Department of Philosophy

Wil Large Web

Senator William McMaster Chair in
Constitutional Studies

(more information)

Professional Profile


I am a Professor in McMaster's Department of Philosophy, the Senator William McMaster Chair in Constitutional Studies, and an Adjunct Member of the Graduate Faculty of Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto. My BA and MA in philosophy are from the University of Western Ontario (Huron University College) and my DPhil in the philosophy of law is from Oxford University, where I studied under the supervision of H.L.A. Hart. Over the years, I have supervised a great number of MA and PhD students. Many of these (e.g. Maricarmen Jenkins, Margaret Martin, Colin Farrelley, Keith Culver, Brian Burge-Hendrix, Michael Giudice and Fabio Shecaira) have gone on to thriving academic careers. I am always on the lookout for bright, eager students who would like to pursue a graduate degree in the philosophy of law. I am particularly interested in students who wish to work in one of my two main areas of research interest. For further information about studying philosophy of law at McMaster, see Legal Philosophy at McMaster.

Research Interests

My current research interests are in general jurisprudence and the philosophy of constitutional law.

My Courses for 2013-14

Philosophy 3Q3 (Term 1)

Philosophy 1B3 (Term 2)

Philosophy 4C3/6C3(Term 2)


Some of My Publications


Inclusive Legal Positivism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994)

Free Expression: Essays in Law and Philosophy (editor) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994)

Well and Good: A Case Study Approach to Biomedial Ethics (3rd Edition) co-author, J.E. Thomas (Peterborough: Broadview Press, 1998)

Readings in Health Care Ethics co-editor E. Gedge (Boetzskes) 2nd ed. (Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2012)

The Dimensions of Ethics (Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2003)

A Common Law Theory of Judicial Review: The Living Tree (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Positivismo Juridico Incluyente (Madrid: Marcial Pons, 2007)  [Spanish translation of  Inclusive Legal Positivism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994)]

Una Teoria del Control Judicial de Constitucionalidad basada en el common law: Un Arbol vivo (Madrid: Marcial Pons, 2009)  [Spanish translation of A Common Law Theory of  Judicial Review: The Living Tree (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)]

Philosophical Foundations of the Nature of Law, co-editor Stefan Sciaraffa (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)

Journal Articles, Book Chapters and Encyclopedia Entries

'Authority and the Practical Difference Thesis: A Defence of Inclusive Legal Positivism', Legal Theory Vol. 6 (2000)

'Constitutionalism' in Stanford Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy http://plato.stanford.edu/, (September 2012)

'Legal Positivism, Inclusive versus Exclusive', Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

'On Criminal Attempts', in M. Kramer, ed., Rights, Wrongs and Responsibilities (New York: Palgrave Press, 2001)

'Constitutions as Living Trees: An Idiot Defends', Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence (Spring, 2005)

'Constitutional Morality and Bills of Rights', in Grant Huscroft, ed., Expounding the Constitution: Essays in Constitutional Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008)

'Legality, Morality and the Guiding Function of Law,' in The Legacy of H.L.A. Hart: Legal  Political and Moral Philosophy, Matthew Kramer et. al. (eds.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)

'Four Concepts of Validity: Reflections on Inclusive and Exclusive Positivism', in K. Himma and M. Adler, ed., The Rule of Recognition and the United States Constitution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)

'Legality’s Frontier', Transnational Legal Theory, Vol. 1, no. 4, (December 2010)

Democracy and the Living Tree Constitution', 59 Drake University Law Review, (Summer 2011)

'Constitutional Interpretation' in A. Marmor ed., Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Law  (Routledge, 2012)

'Constitutionalism in the European Union: Pipedream or Possibility?'  in Julie Dickson and Pavlos Eleftheriadis (ed) The Philosophical Foundations of the European Union (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)

'Defeasibility and Legal Positivism' in Essays on Legal Defeasibility', in ed. J. Beltran, et. al. (eds), (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)

“Lessons from Hart”,  Problema (April 2012, no. 5) pp. 363-383.

“On the Neutrality of Charter Reasoning” in Beltran ed., Neutrality and Theory of Law,  Ferrer Beltrán, Jordi; Moreso Mateos, José Juan; Papayannis, Diego Martín (Eds.)(Springer, 2013)

"Constitutional Rights and Democracy: A Reply to Professor Bellamy," 14 German Law Journal (2013), available at http://www.germanlawjournal.com/index.php?pageID=11&artID=1543