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Jonathan Jacobs
Position: Professor and Chair of Philosophy, John Jay College
Doctoral Faculty of Philosophy
Doctoral Faculty of Criminal Justice
Director, Institute for Criminal Justice Ethics, John Jay College
Presidential Scholar, John Jay College
Campus Affiliation: John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Office Hours: Tuesday 11am-12:30pm. Wednesday 3:30-5pm
Degrees/Diplomas: BA Wesleyan University, Philosophy, College of Social Studies
PhD University of Pennsylvania
Research Interests: Moral Psychology, Medieval Philosophy, Aims and Justification of Punishment, Metaethics, Jewish Philosophy
Courses Recently Taught
  • Medieval Theories of the Will
  • The Metaethics of Virtue
  • The Aims and Justification of State Punishment
Representative Publications

Law, Reason, and Morality in Medieval Jewish Philosophy, Oxford University Press, (2010).

Dimensions of Moral Theory: An Introduction to Metaethics and Moral Psychology, Blackwell, (2002).

Choosing Character: Responsibility for Virtue and Vice, Cornell U. Press, (2001).

“The Reasons of the Commandments: Rational Tradition Without Natural Law,” in press, in Reason, Religion and Natural Law: Plato to Spinoza, ed. J. Jacobs, Oxford University Press, (2012).

“Reason, Will, and Human Action,” forthcoming in Blackwell History of Medieval Philosophy.

“Forgiveness and Perfection,” in Ancient Forgiveness, edited by Charles Griswold and David Konstan, Cambridge University Press, (2012).

“Criminal Justice and the Liberal Polity,” in Criminal Justice Ethics, August 2011.

“The Epistemology of Moral Tradition: A Defense of a Maimonidean Thesis,” The Review of Metaphysics, September 2010.

“Retributivism and Public Norms” in St. Andrews Studies in Philosophy and Public Affairs, (2004).

“Punitiveness: A Philosophical Perspective,” in Criminal Justice Policy Review, Vol. 31 (7), 2020.

“Meeting the Challenges to the Universality of Virtue,” in Virtue in Theory and
Practice: Local or Universal? 2020, Routledge

“Judaism, Pluralism, and Public Reason,” in Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Summer 2020.

“In Dialogue With Philosophy: Recovering the Moral Sciences Through Criminology, forthcoming in a Festschrift for Sir Anthony Bottoms, Criminology, Cambridge, (Ed.) Alison Liebling

“Adam Smith on Resentment, Desert, and Justice” in Volume 12 of Adam
Smith Review, ed. Fonna Forman, 2020.

“Moral Education, Skills of Civility, and Virtue in the Public Sphere,” in Virtue in the Public Sphere, edited by James Arthur, Routledge, 2019.

“Natural Law and Judaism,” in Research Handbook on Natural Law Theory, eds. Jonathan Crowe, Constance Lee, Edward Elgar Publisher, 2019.

“Judaism and Philosophy of Law” in New Perspectives on Jewish Law, eds. Yonatan Brafman, Suzanne Stone, De Gruyter, forthcoming.

“Censure, Sanction, and the Moral Psychology of Resentment and Punitiveness” in Penal Censure: Engagements Within and Beyond Desert Theory,a volume on the 40th anniversary of Andre Von Hirsch’s Doing Justice. Hart Publishing, edited by Anthony Bottoms and Antje duBois-Pedain 2019.

Awards and Grants
  • NEH Summer Seminar Director
  • NEH Enduring Questions Grant
  • Fulbright Scholar Grant
  • American Philosophical Society Grant
  • Earhart Foundation Fellowship Research Grants
  • Littauer Foundation Grants
  • Hayek Fund for Scholar/Institute for Humane Studies Grant
  • PSC/CUNY Grant

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