John J. Davenport


Faculty John Davenport

Professor of Philosophy and Director of Peace and Justice Studies (2014-16)
Fordham University
Room 125 Collins Hall, RH

Phone: 718-817-2775
Email: [email protected]

  • University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1992-1998. PhD conferred August 8, 1998. High honors for MA level work.

    Yale University: BA May, 1989. Graduated Magna Cum Laude with Distinction in Philosophy.

    TASIS England: High School Diploma, June 1985. Graduated Valedictorian.

  • John Davenport studied Philosophy at Yale University and completed his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in 1998. Since then, he has taught in the undergraduate and graduate programs at Fordham University in New York City, where he served as Associate Chair of Philosophy and Associate Director of Environmental Studies. He has also served in various offices for the Kierkegaard Society USA—most recently as Society President (2010-2011).

    John has published and taught widely on topics in free will and responsibility, existential conceptions of practical identity, virtue ethics, motivation and autonomy, theories of justice, and philosophy of religion (including divine attributes, mythology and fantasy literature). With Anthony Rudd, John co-edited the 2001 collection, Kierkegaard After MacIntyre, which defends the relevance of Kierkegaard's ideas for contemporary debates in moral psychology and virtue ethics. His book, Will as Commitment and Resolve (Fordham University Press, 2007), draws on ideas from the existential tradition to defend a conception of willing as a self-motivating resolve by which agents stick to goals in the face of difficulty, and set new ends based on recognition of values that transcend our individual happiness. This work provides the basis for a new hierarchical theory of personal autonomy that improves on Harry Frankfurt's account of caring and identity-defining commitments.

    John has recently published four essays on faith and will in Kierkegaard's thought, four essays on topics in political philosophy (especially concerning human rights and the need for a global federation of democracies), and a monograph in moral psychology titled Narrative Identity, Autonomy, and Mortality: from Frankfurt and MacIntyre to Kierkegaard (Routledge, 2012), which develops his earlier work on Kierkegaard and outlines his new account of autonomy. He and Anthony Rudd are currently co-editing a new collection of essays titled Love, Reason, and Will: Kierkegaard after Frankfurt (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015).

    John is currently planning three book projects in political philosophy, including:

    • An argument for a league of democracies to take over the responsibility to protect core human rights and provide global public goods
    • A critique of four styles of argument for political libertarianism in favor of a conception of social justice based on common goods as capital "endowments" needed to sustain productivity and well-being in human societies over time
    • An argument for a constitutional convention to fix the fundamental problems with American democracy and the federal government in the 21st century.
  • Love, Reason, and Will: Kierkegaard after Frankfurt co-edited with Anthony Rudd (Bloomsbury, Sept. 2015)

    Narrative Identity and Autonomy: from MacIntyre to Kierkegaard (Routledge, July 2012).

    Will as Commitment and Resolve: An Existential Account of Creativity, Love, Virtue, and Happiness. (Fordham University Press, June, 2007).

    Kierkegaard After MacIntyre: Essays in Freedom, Narrative, and Virtue, co-edited with Anthony Rudd (Chicago: Open Court Publishing Co., 2001).

  • Forthcoming Essays

    “Romantic Marriage as a Model for Ethical Will: A Defense of Judge Wilhelm,” to appear in the Klassiker Auslegen volume on Kierkegaard’s Entweder-Oder [Either/Or], ed. Hermann Deuser and Markus Kleinert (Walter de Gruyter, 2015): draft submitted Jan. 2015.

    “The Virtues of Ambivalence: Wholeheartedness as Existential Telos and the Unwillable Completion of Narravives,” to appear in the Narrative, Identity, and the Kierkegaardian Self, ed. Patrick Stokes and John Lippitt (Edinburgh University Press, summer 2015).

    "Frankfurt on BS, Sincerity, and Love: A Comparison With Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Sartre," forthcoming in Love, Reason, and Will: Kierkegaard after Frankfurt, eds. Anthony Rudd and John Davenport (Bloomsbury Publishing, Sept. 2015).

    Published (by May 1, 2015)

    “How the Treasure of Comparative Mythography was Lost in Late Twentieth-Century Humanities,” in Jung in the Academy and Beyond, ed. Mattson, Wertz, Fogarty, Klenck, and Zabriske (Spring Journal Books, 2015): 245-57.

    “Eschatological Faith and Repetition: Kierkegaard’s Abraham and Job,” in the Cambridge Guidebook to Fear and Trembling, ed. Dan Conway (Cambridge University Press, 2014): 97-105.

    “Earnestness,” in Kierkegaard’s Concepts, ed. Jon Stewart and William MacDonald, volume 15 in the series, Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources (De Gruyter, 2014): 221-27.

    Selfhood and Spirit,” in the Oxford Handbook of Kierkegaard, ed. John Lippitt and George Pattison (Oxford University Press, 2013): 230-51.

    A New Existential Model of God: Open Theism, Agapic Personalism, and Alterogenesis,” in Models of God and Other Ultimate Realities, ed. Jeanine Diller (Springer, 2013): 567-586.

    "Norm-Guided Autonomous Agency in the Formation of Cares," in Autonomy and the Self, ed. Michael Kühler, and Nadja Jelinek (Springer, 2012): 85-116.

    "Life-Narrative and Death as the End of Freedom" in Kierkegaard and Death, ed. Patrick Stokes and Adam Buben (Indiana University Press, 2011): 160-83.

    “Just Wars, Humanitarian Intervention, and the Need for a Federation of Democracies,” Journal of Religious Ethics, 39 no.3 (2011): 493–555.

    “Accidental Devotion and Gratitude: Kierkegaard in My Life Story,” in Why Kierkegaard Matters, ed. Marc Jolley and Edmon Rowell, Jr. (Mercer University Press, 2010): 82-97.

    For a Federation of Democracies, Ethics and International Affairs 23.1 (spring 2009): Roundtable: "Can Democracies Go It Alone?"

    "Religion in the Public Sphere: How Deliberative Democracy offers a Middle Road," in Rethinking Secularization: Philosophy and the Prophecy of a Secular Age, ed. Gary Gabor and Herbert De Vriese (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009): 289-325.

    "Augustine on Liberty of the Higher-Order Will: Answers to Hunt and Stump," Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association (forthcoming, November, 2008).

    "A Global Federalist Paper: Consolidation Arguments and Transnational Government," Journal of Value Inquiry 42 (Fall, 2008): 353-375.

    "Kierkegaard’s Postscript in Light of Fear and Trembling," Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia (Dec. 2008) 64 nos 2-4: 879-908.

    "What Kierkegaardian Faith Adds to Alterity Ethics: How Levinas and Derrida Miss the Eschatological Dimension," in Kierkegaard and Levinas: Ethics, Politics, and Religion, ed. J. Aaron Simmons and David Wood (Indiana University Press, Oct. 2008): 169-198.

    "Faith as Eschatological Trust in Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling," in Ethics, Love, and Faith in Kierkegaard, ed. Edward Mooney (Indiana University Press, July 2008): 196 - 233 (and notes).

  • Review of Charles Larmore, Practices of the Self (University of Chicago Press, 2010). Ethics 122 no.2 (Jan. 2012): 434-40.

    Review of Normativity and the Will, by R.J. Wallace in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (online since Dec. 2007).

    Review of Religion in the Liberal Polity, ed. Terence Cuneo, in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (online since summer 2005).