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Ethics, legal philosophy, history of moral and political theory, property rights, ethical particularism, anarchism

A. John Simmons

Commonwealth Professor of Philosophy
Professor of Law

Ph.D., Cornell University, 1977
M.A., Cornell University, 1975
A.B., Princeton University, 1972

A. John Simmons is Commonwealth Professor of Philosophy and professor of law 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) 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).

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 FBI National Academy, has given the Becker Distinguished Alumnus Lecture at Cornell University, and will give the 2013 Auguste Comte Lectures at the London School of Economics.

Simmons' current research interests include the moral significance of national boundaries.

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