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John Christman

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John Christman

John Christman

Director of the Penn State Humanities Institute; Professor of Philosophy, Political Science and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
105 Ihlseng Cottage
(814) 865-4190


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

Professional Bio

Areas of Specialization

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

Recent Courses

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

Recent Publications

  • “Alienation and Reification” in Ludwig Siep, Heikki Ikaheimo and Michael Quante, eds. Hanbuch Anerkennung (Springer, in press).
  • “Anti-Perfectionism and Autonomy in an Imperfect World: Comments on Joseph Raz’sThe Morality of Freedom 30 Years On”. Moral Philosophy and Politics 4 no. 1 (2017), 5-25.
  • Social and Political Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction, 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2017.
  • “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).
  • 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
  • "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

(editor) Positive Freedom: Past, Present and Future. Original essays by multiple authors.  Under contract, Cambridge University Press.


John Christman
John Christman