David Peña Rangel is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University and a Mellon Dissertation Fellow at Stanford’s Humanities Center. His research interests are broadly in political theory and moral and political philosophy. His dissertation focuses on the leveling down objection to equality—the most often invoked challenge against egalitarian distributions. Because equality can be achieved simply by worsening or leveling down the position of the better off to the levels of the worse off, many think that achieving equality (as opposed to improving the lives of the needy, for example) is in no way valuable. His project challenges this view and aims to understand whether sacrificing the well-being of some people solely for the sake of achieving equality can ever be the all-things-considered right thing to do, and—if it ever is—why it is so.
Before beginning his Ph.D. studies at Stanford, he completed a B.A. in Law in Mexico City’s Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and an M.A. in International Comparative Education at Stanford University. In addition, he has been a pre-doctoral fellow at Stanford’s McCoy Center for Ethics and has taught classes on the history of political thought in Mexico City’s Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE).