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John Christman

John Christman

Director of the Penn State Humanities Institute, Professor of Philosophy, Political Science and Women's Studies

105 Ihlseng Cottage


  1. B.A., University of New Orleans
  2. M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago Circle
  3. Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago


Areas of Specialization

  • Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy
  • Moral Theory
  • Figures in the History of Political Philosophy
  • Feminism

Recent Courses

  • Rawlsian Liberalism and its Critics
  • Freedom and Slavery
  • Rousseau's Social and Political Philosophy

Recent Publications

  • “Autonomy and Liberalism: A Troubled Marriage?” in Steven Wall, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Liberalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 141-62.

  • “Autonomy and Social Disorientation” in Geoffrey Levey, ed. Authenticity, Autonomy and Multiculturalism (London: Routledge, 2015).

  • “Telling Our Stories in the Master’s Tongue: Narrative Selves and Oppressive Circumstance” in Christopher Cowley, ed. Philosophy of Autobiography (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2015).

  • "Freedom and the Extended Self". Ethical Perspectives 21 no.2, June 2014
  • The Politics of Persons: Individual Autonomy and Socio-Historical Selves. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism: New Essays, co-edited with Joel Anderson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, January 2005
  • Social and Political Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction. London: Routledge, 2002
  • "Saving Positive Freedom" Political Theory 33 no.1 (February, 2005), 79-88
  • "Narrative Unity as a Condition of Personhood" Metaphilosophy, 35 no. 5 (October 2004), 695-713
  • The Myth of Property: Toward an Egalitarian Theory of Ownership. Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1994

Current Projects

Social and Political Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction 2nd Edition