Special Issue: 'The Future of Work, Play, and Education in the Metaverse'

Guest Editors
Nir Eisikovits (Director, Center for Applied Ethics, UMass Boston)
James Hughes (IEET Executive Director and Associate Provost, UMass Boston)
Alec Stubbs (UMass Boston Post-Doctoral Fellow)

With Facebook’s rebranding to Meta in 2021, the concept of ‘the metaverse’ became a ubiquitous term overnight, inviting both excitement and intense skepticism about the possibilities of our digital future. Broadly speaking, ‘the metaverse’ refers to the emerging online network of three-dimensional, virtual worlds facilitated by virtual and augmented reality technologies. As a proposed successor to our current model of the internet, the metaverse offers a virtual counterpart to our physical world that can accommodate our lives of work, play, and education. Three-dimensional workspaces – whether facilitated by virtual reality or augmented reality headsets – represent new immersive environments for social interaction, community-building, productivity, and learning. From virtual office spaces to interactive classrooms populated with three-dimensional avatars, the metaverse promises a new era of social connectivity on the internet. But while the metaverse presents us with these new opportunities, it also intensifies pre-existing philosophical and normative concerns associated with our online lives. If the metaverse lives up to its hype, we must be able to contend with its moral and social consequences.

This special issue of Moral Philosophy and Politics invites submissions that address some of the following philosophical concerns: What are the moral risks and possibilities for the future of work, play, and education in the metaverse? Do we lose something meaningful in our social relations without physical co-presence; or does the metaverse present us with the opportunity for more authentic social relations online? Will work in the metaverse reproduce or reduce work intensification, exploitation, alienation, discrimination, etc.? How ought we think about the problems of distraction, addiction, and anxiety associated with digital technologies in relation to a life in the metaverse? How will facial recognition and haptic feedback technologies associated with the metaverse impact moral and regulatory concerns related to data privacy and surveillance? How ought we conceptualize property relations, such as non-fungible token (NFTs) and other forms of virtual property, in the metaverse?

We are particularly interested in submissions that address these various philosophical challenges as they relate to work, play, and education in the metaverse.

Potential philosophical topics for inclusion in this special issue include:

·       The problem of ‘authenticity’ and co-presence in the metaverse

·       Interoperability of identity and property within and across the metaverse

·       Distraction and addiction in the metaverse

·       The digital divide and the metaverse

·       Big data, data privacy, and surveillance in the metaverse

·       Democratizing the metaverse

·       Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and virtual property  


Papers should be between 3.000 and 10.000 words in length and should be submitted by July 1st, 2023, with the aim of publishing the special issue in Autumn 2024.


The journal’s manuscript submission site can be accessed at

Special Issue: Relational Equality and Migration

Guest Editor: Daniel Sharp (LMU Munich)


One of the most important objections to border control is the charge that it is deeply inegalitarian (Carens, Shachar). Standardly, this point has been pressed as an argument for open borders made by appealing to distributive equality (Holtug). Yet, philosophers have begun to rethink the idea of equality. Relational egalitarians (e.g., Anderson, Scheffler, Viehoff, Kolodny, Fourie, Schemmel) argue that egalitarian justice is not fundamentally a matter of distributing certain goods, but of creating the conditions under which people can relate as equals. Others (e.g., Scanlon) have put forward pluralist explanations of the value of equality, which illustrate the diversity of the objections to inequality. Yet, these theories have usually been developed in ways that focus exclusively on the claims of co-citizens and ignore matters of global justice. Simultaneously, philosophers have begun to grapple with the complexity of actual practices of migration control. These complexities raise issues that go beyond the standard debate about open or closed borders, such as (e.g.) issues related to immigrant selection and discrimination, the status of migrants within host societies, the limits of permissible immigration enforcement, and the special claims of various migrant groups. Migration control occurs in a variety of contexts and has complex effects on social relationships, such as employment and family relationships, and lack of immigration status can generate novel forms of oppression or subordination (Reed-Sandoval).


In light of these developments, how should we understand the various connections between migration and relational egalitarianism? What (if anything) does relational egalitarianism have to offer to the debate about migration justice? This special issue of Moral Philosophy and Politics invites contributions that address these questions. Contributions might seek to address topics such as the following: what concept of equality is most applicable to debates about migration? How do relational and distributive arguments for migration control interact? Does relational equality presuppose a shared social context; if so, does this mean that relational egalitarians have nothing to say about the exclusion of immigrants? How does one’s immigration status—or lack thereof—impact one’s social status?  Are temporary labor migration programs compatible with relational egalitarianism? What does relational egalitarianism imply for debates about naturalization and citizenship tests? Is producing relational inequalities in the context of migration necessarily unjust? Are there important critiques of a relational egalitarian approach to migration justice? Can migration or migration governance generate problematic inequalities within sending societies? Submissions might benefit from engaging with the emerging literature on relational equality and migration, which includes contributions by Phil Cole, Desiree Lim, Kevin Ip, José Jorge Mendoza, Amy Reed-Sandoval, Christine Straehle, and Shelley Wilcox, as well as wider debates about how to understand relational egalitarianism.


Papers should be submitted by December 15th, 2023, and should be between 3.000 and 10.000 words in length. All submissions will undergo MOPP’s double-blind refereeing process. Papers will only be accepted for publication if they are approved for publication by both the guest editor and the journal's founding editors.


The journal’s manuscript submission site can be accessed at


Special Issue: ‘Longtermism: Philosophical Questions’


Guest Editor: Stefan Riedener (University of Zurich)


Longtermism is the view that positively influencing the long-term future is a – or perhaps the – key moral priority of our time (see e.g. MacAskill, What We Owe the Future). The standard argument for this view is simple: the long-term future might concern the fate of enormously many beings; these beings matter morally (at least roughly) as much as we or our contemporaries do; and we can affect their existence and quality of life. The upshot seems to be that positively shaping the next hundreds of thousands of years is more important than just about anything else. When we ponder how to structure our economy, how to respond to climate change, pursue international politics and so on, we should ask primarily how our decisions will impact the very long-term trajectory of the universe. 


This is a radical idea, and it deserves much more academic discussion than it has so far received. Moral Philosophy and Politics invites contributions that engage with philosophical questions surrounding longtermism. Is the standard argument sound? What are the primary philosophical objections against it? Are there alternative argumentative routes – perhaps grounded in key deontological or virtue-ethical ideas – that lead to a similar conclusion? What would longtermism imply for our self-understanding today? What import does it have for specific moral issues, such as animal ethics, the ethics of AI or global inequality? These are only some of the questions that contributors may address.


Papers should be submitted by October 31, 2023 and should be between 3.000 and 10.000 words in length.


All submissions will undergo MOPP’s double-blind refereeing process. Please note that this process is not organized by the guest editor but by the journal’s founding editors who will also have the final word on publication decisions.


The journal’s manuscript submission site can be accessed at