Jonathan Jacobs

Jonathan Jacobs

Professor/Chair of Dept.of Philosophy
Phone number: 
Room number: 
NB 8.86.22


 BA    - Wesleyan University, Philosophy and College of Social Studies
 Ph.D - University of Pennsylvania, Philosophy


Jonathan Jacobs joined the faculty in February 2011 as Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute of Criminal Justice Ethics. Prior to coming to John Jay he taught for over twenty years at Colgate University. He is the author of nine books, editor of two others, and has published over sixty articles in several areas of philosophy, including Ethics, Philosophy of Law, Medieval Philosophy, and Moral Psychology. He has been a Visiting Professor or held fellowships at Oxford, Cambridge, the University of St. Andrews, the University of Edinburgh, and the Social Philosophy & Policy Center at Bowling Green State University. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Earhart Foundation, and the Littauer Foundation, and he has directed an NEH Summer Seminar for faculty. He is currently working on issues concerning the aims and justification of punishment in a liberal political order, and the relation between criminal justice and broader conceptions of justice. He is directing a multi-disciplinary, collaborative project to explore ways in which the understanding of agency, character, and identity has implications for constructively reintegrating ex-offenders in civil society. The role of an agent’s states of character in ethical comprehension, reasoning, and motivation is one of his longstanding interests. He is Presidential Scholar in Philosophy at John Jay.


   - Areas of Specialization: Ethics, Medieval Philosophy, Moral Psychology, Theories of Punishment

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