A. John Simmons
Hired September 1976 and Retired May 2019
A.B., Princeton University
M.A, Cornell University
Ph.D., Cornell University
AOS: Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Law, Value Theory
AOC: History of Western Philosophy
A. JOHN SIMMONS is the John Allen Hollingsworth Professor of Philosophy at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1976. He received his A.B. from Princeton University in 1972 and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cornell University in 1977. He has been an editor of the journal Philosophy & Public Affairs since 1982. He is the author of Moral Principles and Political Obligations (Princeton, 1979), The Lockean Theory of Rights (Princeton, 1992), On the Edge of Anarchy: Locke, Consent, and the Limits of Society (Princeton, 1993), Justification and Legitimacy: Essays on Rights and Obligations (Cambridge, 2000), Is There a Duty to Obey the Law? For and Against (with C.H. Wellman)(Cambridge, 2005), Political Philosophy (Oxford, 2008), Boundaries of Authority (Oxford, 2016), and many other publications on topics in moral, political, and legal philosophy. Two of his articles have been selected for inclusion in The Philosopher’s Annual. He has edited the books International Ethics (Princeton, 1985) and Punishment (Princeton, 1995). Professor Simmons has chaired the University of Virginia’s Philosophy Department and its Program on Political and Social Thought, and he received Virginia’s All-University Teaching Award in 1992-93 (in the inaugural year of that award). He taught Ethics as a special consultant for six years at the F.B.I. National Academy and has given the Becker Distinguished Alumnus Lecture at Cornell University, the Safra Lecture at Harvard, and the 2013 Auguste Comte Lectures at the London School of Economics.
Boundaries of Authority (Oxford University Press, 2016; vii + 263 pp.)
“Human Rights, Natural Rights, and Human Dignity”, in R. Cruft, M. Liao, and M. Renzo (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2015), 138-52.
“Rights-Based Justifications for the State”, in A. Byrne, J. Cohen, G. Rosen, and S. Shiffrin (eds.), The Norton Introduction to Philosophy (W.W. Norton & Co., 2015), 955-62.
“Territorial Rights: Justificatory Strategies”, in Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, Vol. I (Oxford University Press, 2015), 145-72.
“Locke on the Social Contract”, Ch. 21 of M. Stuart (ed.), A Companion to Locke (Wiley Blackwell, 2016), 413-32.
“Self-Determination and Territorial Rights”, Philosophy and Public Issues (New Series), Vol. 6, No. 2 (2016), 51-65.