John J. Stuhr

Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and American Studies

Department of Philosophy

Office: Bowden Hall 317

Phone: 404.727.9965

Fax: 404.712.9425


Additional Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Department of Philosophy

Emory University
561 S. Kilgo Circle

Atlanta, GA 30322


  • BA, Carleton College
  • MA, Vanderbilt University
  • PhD, Vanderbilt University


  • social theory and political philosophy, ethics, pragmatism and American philosophy, 19th and 20th century European philosophy, philosophy and contemporary culture

Selected Publications

  • Author of
    • Pragmatic Fashions: Pluralism, Democracy, Relativism, and the Absurd (Indiana University Press, 2016)      
    • Pragmatism, Postmodernism, and the Future of Philosophy (Routledge, 2003)
    • Genealogical Pragmatism: Philosophy, Experience, and Community (SUNY Press, 1997)
    • John Dewey (Carmichael & Carmichael, 1991; study guide, 1993; Blackstone, cd, 2006)                
  • Editor of
    • Philosophy and Human Flourishing (Oxford University Press, 2022 forthcoming)
    • Cosmopolitanism and Place (co-edited with Jessica Wahman and José M. Medina) (Indiana University Press, forthcoming 2017)
    • 100 Years of Pragmatism: William James's 'Epoch-Making' Philosophy (Indiana, 2010)
    • Pragmatism and Classical American Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed. 2000)
    • Philosophy and the Reconstruction of Culture (SUNY Press, 1993)

Fellowships and Honors

  • Founding Director, American Philosophies Forum (2008--) Click Here.
  • The American Philosophies Forum - Emory University
    Mission Recognizing the pluralistic, frequently contested character of American life, the American Philosophies Forum aims: 1) to contribute to the critical ...
  • Co-Editor and Managing Editor, Journal of Speculative Philosophy (1998--) Click Here.
  • Founding Series General Editor, American Philosophy, Indiana University Press (2003) Click Here.
  • Templeton Foundation Grant on “The Humanities and Human Flourishing;” Disciplinary Chair for Philosophy and Project Senior Board member (administered by the University of Pennsylvania) (2017-2023). 
  • Ethics & Contemporary Moral Problems Initiative, Emory Integrity Project, Emory University (2017-2018) 
  • The American Dream, Quality Enhancement Plan Grant, Emory University (2017-2018) 
  • Visiting Scholar, Sage School of Philosophy, Cornell University (2016-17, 2011, 2006) 
  • Marcus Foundation Large Institutional Grant (2008, 2014)
  • Co-Director, Summer Workshop (on Peirce, James, and the Origins of Pragmatism), Institute for the History of Philosophy, 2012
  • President, Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy (2004-06)
  • Outstanding Faculty Member, Lotus Eaters Honor Society/Pi Beta Phi, Vanderbilt University (2007)
  • Director, "Contested Values and Moral Reasoning in International Affairs," Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs (2004)
  • Co-Director, NEH Summer Seminar on Art, Politics, and American Culture and Pragmatism, National Endowment for the Humanities (2001)
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Centre Michel Foucault (IMES), Paris, France (1994)
  • Director, Western Humanities Conference (1990-93)
  • Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Lenningrad State University (1991)
  • Founding Steering Committee, Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (1988-1994)
  • Senior Research Scholar and Visiting Fellow, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia (1988)
  • Fulbright Fellow, Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat Freiburg, Germany (1984)
  • Greenlee Prize, Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy (1981)
  • President, Northwest Philosophy Conference (1981)

Current Work

My main research and ongoing publications now are in three areas:

Pragmatism:  In fall 2021, I am completing a long book that draws on the thought of William James (in conversation with many other thinkers including Bergson, Deleuze, Dewey, Santayana, Hegel, and Russell) to address issues in ethics and politics, philosophical psychology, metaphysics, and epistemology.  This book is tentatively titled No Professor’s Lectures Can Save Us:  William James’s Pragmatism, Radical Empiricism, and Pluralism. I expect to complete two related books—making a kind of pragmatic triptych:  a book—tentatively titled Peirce’s Principle of Pragmatism--that moves through the pragmatism, phenomenology, and semiotics of Charles Peirce; and, a book—tentatively titled Experience and Criticism--that focuses on John Dewey, his view of experience, and its implications for politics and the practice of philosophy. 

Ethics and Politics:  I am just completing editing a volume I have edited in connection with a multi-year grant from the Templeton Foundation:  Philosophy and Human Flourishing (Oxford University Press, 2022).  I continue to be interested in the intersections of philosophy and both positive psychology and behavioral economics—an interest that I take to stem from my conception of philosophy as an art (of living) rather than a discipline (of knowledge catalogued in the contemporary academy).  Looking ahead, my focus here will be on economic, political, and structural roadblocks to, and resources for, flourishing lives.  In this context, I continue to find pragmatism to be a particularly valuable resource for addressing contemporary issues that include the rise of authoritarianism and nationalism, flights from evidence and truth, and marketed categories of identity.  In addition, I am editing a book titled Poetic Pragmatism:  Shared Practice and Singular Voices that addresses, the nature of philosophy, its relations to poetry and jazz, and the nature of improvisation and force of traditions.

19th and 20th Century European Philosophy:  I continue to be interested particularly in the writings of Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault, and am at work on a book focused on Deleuze, his view of philosophy as the creation of concepts, and, above all, his radical empiricism, and its connections (mostly through Bergson and Deleuze’s teacher, Jean Wahl) to American pragmatism.   

--I regularly have taught both undergraduate courses and graduate seminars in the above three areas, and expect to continue to do so in the future.  My most recent graduate seminars include courses on both topics and problems—cosmopolitanism, liberalism and its critics, human flourishing, and equality, meritocracy, and democracy—and courses on philosophical traditions and individual figures—contemporary pragmatism, Peirce and James and the Origins of Pragmatism, Dewey and democracy, radical empiricism, Deleuze, and stoicism.

Book Covers

Cosmopolitanism and Place  stuhr-11Stuhr Book Cover Stuhr Book Cover Stuhr Book Cover Stuhr Book Cover Stuhr Book Cover Stuhr Book Cover Stuhr Book Cover Stuhr Book Cover Stuhr Book Cover Stuhr Book Cover