Cornell University
Sage School of Philosophy
PhD, 1977
Charlottesville, Virginia, United States of America
Areas of Interest
History of Western Philosophy
  •  7
    Boundaries of Authority: An introduction
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (4). 2019.
    This is the Introduction to the symposium on A. John Simmons, Boundaries of Authority. The Symposium contains articles by David Miller, Cara Nine, and Anna Stilz, and a response by the author.
  •  11
    Building on research regarding the influence of national identity salience on attitudes towards international institutions and the impact of nationalism on foreign policy preferences, in a case study of America, I explore the role of chauvinistic nationalism to understand its impact on attitudes towards international jurisdiction of punishment for alleged human rights violations by members of the American military. Using binomial regression of survey responses from the 2014 Cooperative Congressi…Read more
  •  3
    Moral Principles and Political Obligations
    Princeton University Press. 1979.
    Outlining the major competing theories in the history of political and moral philosophy--from Locke and Hume through Hart, Rawls, and Nozick--John Simmons attempts to understand and solve the ancient problem of political obligation. Under what conditions and for what reasons, he asks, are we morally bound to obey the law and support the political institutions of our countries?
  •  18
    The Limits of Lockean Rights in Property
    Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 58 (4): 997-999. 1995.
  •  5
    This book completes A. John Simmons's exploration and development of Lockean moral and political philosophy, a project begun in The Lockean Theory of Rights. Here Simmons discusses the Lockean view of the nature of, grounds for, and limits on political relations between persons. Originally published in 1993. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. T…Read more
  •  16
    Rights and territories: A reply to Nine, Miller, and Stilz
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (4). 2019.
    ‘Rights and Territories: A Reply to Nine, Miller, and Stilz’ defends the Lockean theory of states’ territorial rights against the critiques of Nine, Miller, and Stilz. In response to Nine’s concern that such a Lockean theory cannot justify the right of legitimate states to exclude aliens, it is argued that a consent-based theory like the Lockean one is flexible enough to justify a wide range of possible incidents of territorial rights – importantly including, though not necessarily including, th…Read more
  •  2
    Works cited
    In On the Edge of Anarchy: Locke, Consent, and the Limits of Society, Princeton University Press. pp. 271-284. 1995.
  •  1
  • Index
    In On the Edge of Anarchy: Locke, Consent, and the Limits of Society, Princeton University Press. pp. 285-293. 1995.
  •  1
    Obedience to law
    In Lawrence C. Becker & Charlotte B. Becker (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Ethics, Garland Publishing. pp. 918--21. 1992.
  •  24
    Moral Principles and Political Obligations
    Ethics 91 (2): 309-312. 1980.
  •  128
    Locke on the Death Penalty
    Philosophy 69 (270): 471-. 1994.
    Brian Calvert has offered us a clear and careful analysis of Locke's views on punishment and capital punishment. The primary goal of his paper - that of correcting the misperception of Locke as a wholehearted proponent of capital punishment for a wide range of offenses - must be allowed to be both laudable and largely achieved in his discussion. But Calvert's analysis also encourages, I think, a number of serious misunderstandings of Locke's true position
  •  6
    External Justifications and Institutional Roles
    Journal of Philosophy 93 (1): 28-36. 1996.
  •  13
    An Essay on the Modern State
    Philosophical Review 109 (2): 271. 2000.
    Contemporary political philosophers routinely assume that some form of the modern, territorial state must be justified and that in a justified state most of the claims that modern states make will be vindicated. The principal question for them is what form the state must take in order to achieve this justification. How minimal or extensive must the state be, how responsive to groups within its territories and to people without must it be, and so on. Christopher Morris’s An Essay on the Modern St…Read more
  •  22
    Consent and Fairness in Planning Land Use
    Business and Professional Ethics Journal 6 (2): 5-19. 1987.
  •  184
    An essay on the modern state
    Philosophical Review 109 (2): 271-273. 2000.
    This important book is the first serious philosophical examination of the modern state. It inquires into the justification of this particular form of political society. It asks whether all states are "nation-states," what are the alternative ways of organizing society, and which conditions make a state legitimate. The author concludes that, while states can be legitimate, they typically fail to have the powers (e.g., sovereignty) they claim. Many books analyze government and its functions, but n…Read more
  •  1
    Justification and Legitimacy: Essays on Rights and Obligations
    Law and Philosophy 22 (2): 195-216. 2003.
    A. John Simmons is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and creative of today's political philosophers. His work on political obligation is regarded as definitive and he is also internationally respected as an interpreter of John Locke. The characteristic features of clear argumentation and careful scholarship that have been hallmarks of his philosophy are everywhere evident in this collection. The essays focus on the problems of political obligation and state legitimacy as well as on h…Read more
  •  14
    Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy
    Philosophical Review 107 (1): 133. 1998.
    As its subtitle indicates, Democracy’s Discontent is a study of the political philosophies that have guided America’s public life. The “search” Michael Sandel describes has, in his view, temporarily come to a disappointing resolution in America’s acceptance of a liberal “public philosophy” that “cannot secure the liberty it promises” and has left Americans “discontented” with their “loss of self-government and the erosion of community”. This theme is unlikely to surprise readers familiar with Sa…Read more
  •  2
    A Duty to Obey the Law: For or Against?
    with Christopher Heath Wellman
    Law and Philosophy 28 (1): 101-107. 2009.
  •  133
    Associative political obligations
    Ethics 106 (2): 247-273. 1996.
    It is claimed by philosophers as diverse as Burke, Walzer, Dworkin, and MacIntyre that our political obligations are best understood as "associative" or "communal" obligations--that is, as obligations that require neither voluntary undertaking nor justification by "external" moral principles, but rather as "local" moral responsibilities whose normative weight derives entirely from their assignment by social practice. This paper identifies three primary lines of argument that appear to support su…Read more
  •  7
    Reasonable Expectations and Obligations: A Reply to Postow
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 19 (1): 123-127. 1981.
  •  274
    Moral Principles and Political Obligations
    Princeton University Press. 1979.
    Every political theorist will need this book . . . . It is more 'important' than 90% of the work published in philosophy."--Joel Feinberg, University of Arizona.