Curriculum vitae of robert neal johnson

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Dept. of Philosophy

Phone: (573) 884-6201

439 Strickland Hall

Fax: 573=884=8949

U. of Missouri

Columbia 65211-4160


  • Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of Missouri (from Fall 2012)

  • Professor, University of Missouri (from Fall 2009)

  • Associate Professor, University of Missouri (1999 to 2009)

  • Assistant Professor, University of Missouri (1993 to 1999)


  • Ph.D., 1993, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill


  • Ethics


  • Kant, Political Philosophy, Metaphysics, Modern Philosophy, Philosophy of Law

RESEARCH (+=invited, *=refereed, ~=in preparation)
Current projects:

  • “The Anti-Deontological Revolt in Kantian Ethics”, Philosophy Compass.+~ A review of the variety of anti-deontological Kantian views that have sprung up in recent years (e.g., Herman, Wood, Guyer) and responses to them (e.g, Schneewind, Korsgaard, Pippin, O’Neill, Hill, me).

  • “Can There Be Duties to God”, for J. Kvanvig, ed. Oxford Studies in Metaethics.


  • Self Improvement: An Essay in Kantian Ethics (Oxford U. Press, Oct. 2011)

  • Co-editor, with M. Timmons, Kantian Reflections on Morality, Law and Society: Critical Essays on the Philosophy of Thomas E. Hill Jr. (Oxford U. Press, 2015)

  • Co-editor, with M. Smith, Critical Essays on the Philosophy of Simon Blackburn (Oxford U. Press, 2015)


  • “Introduction”, with Mark Timmons, in Reason, Value and Respect: Kantian Themes from Philosophy of Thomas E. Hill, Jr. (Oxford U. Press, 2015)

  • “Introduction”, with Michael Smith, in Critical Essays on the Philosophy of Simon Blackburn, R.N. Johnson, M. Smith, eds., (Oxford U. Press, 2015)

  • “Method” in The Kantian Mind. (Routledge, forthcoming)

  • “Duties to Self”, in The Cambridge Kant Lexicon. (Cambridge U.P.)

  • “Courage”, in The Cambridge Kant Lexicon. (Cambridge U.P.)

  • “Cowardice”, in The Cambridge Kant Lexicon. (Cambridge U.P.)

  • "Duties to Others", Kant's Metaphysics of Morals: A Critical Guide, L. Denis, ed., New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.+~

  • Entries in the Kant-Lexicon, (Berlin: de Gruyter) G. Mohr, J. Stolzenberg & M. Willaschek, eds. +

    • Sittlich, Sittlichkeit,

    • Ideal (moralisches)

    • Vollkommenheit (eigen, moralische)

    • Anlage, (moralische, ursprünglische)

    • Eudämonismus

    • Gebot

    • Interesse

    • Interesse der Sittlichkeit

    • Depositum

    • Ehrliebe

    • Fanatismus

    • Indifferenz, sittliche

    • Interesse der Neigung

    • Interesse, pathologisches

    • “The Moral Law as Causal Law” in Kant’s Groundwork: A Critical Guide, J. Timmerman, ed., New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.+

    • "Prichard, Falk and the End of Deliberation " in Reasons to be Moral Revisisted, special edition of the Canadian Journal of Philosophy, S. Black and E. Tiffany, eds. +~

    • "Good Will and the Moral Worth of Acting from Duty", T. E. Hill, ed., Blackwell Companion to Kant's Ethics. NY: Blackwell, 2009. +

    • "Self-development as an Imperfect Duty," in Moral Cultivation, P. J. Ivanhoe and B. Wilburn, eds, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2008. +

    • "Kant's Moral Philosophy", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL=.*

    • “Value and Autonomy in Kantian Ethics” in Oxford Studies in Metaethics Vol. 2, R. Shafer-Landau, ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007; pp. 133-148.*

    • "Was Kant a Virtue Ethicist?" in Monika Betzler, ed., Kant's Virtue Ethics, Berlin, De Gruyter Verlag, 2007. +

    • “Practical Reason”, Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition, D. Borchert, ed., Macmillan Reference, January, 2006.+

    • "Relativism", in the New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. Scribner & Sons, 2005; pp. 2035-2039.+

    • "Obligation", in the New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. Scribner & Sons, 2005; pp. 1658-1663.+

    • "Internal Reasons: Reply to Brady, Gert and van Roojen," The Philosophical Quarterly 53 no. 213, October 2003; pp. 573-580.*

    • "Virtue and Right," Ethics113, no. 4, July 2003; pp. 810-834.*

Reprinted in:

    • Philosopher’s Annual 26. P. Grim, P. Ludlow, G. Mar, eds., URL=

    • Conduct and Character: Readings in Moral Theory. M. Timmons. ed., (Wadsworth, 2006), pp. 187-194

    • Ethics: The Big Questions. J. Sterba, ed. (Blackwell, 2009)

    • "Happiness as a Natural End," in M. Timmons, ed., Kant's Metaphysics of Morals: Interpretive Essays, Oxford University Press, 2002; pp. 637-665. +

    • "Internal Reasons and the Conditional Fallacy," The Philosophical Quarterly 49, no. 194, Jan. 1999: 53-71*

    • "Weakness Incorporated" History of Philosophy Quarterly 15, No. 3, July 1998: 349-367*

    • "Reasons and Advice for the Practically Rational,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, LVII, No. 3, September 1997: 619-625*

    • "Love in Vain," Southern Journal of Philosophy XXXV Supplement: Spindel Conference on Kant's "Metaphysics of Morals", 1997: 45-50+

    • "Kant's Conception of Merit,” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 77, Dec. 1996: 313-337*

    • "Kant's Conception of Virtue,” Jarhbuch für Recht und Ethik/Annual Review of Law and Ethics Vol. 5, December, 1996:365-387+

    • "Expressing a Good Will: Kant on the Motive of Duty,” Southern Journal of Philosophy, Summer, 1996, XXXIV, No. 2: 147-168*

    • "Deontological Ethics,” Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Supplement. (NY: Macmillan, 1996) +


    • Jean Hampton, The Authority of Reason (Cambridge, 1998), Mind, 111, Issue 443, July 2002; pp. 676-79.

    • Svavarsdottir, Sigrun, "Moral Cognitivism and Motivation," BEARS Symposium, Aug., 2001 (

    • Paul Guyer, ed. Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: Critical Essays (Rowman & Littlefield, 1998), Ethics, vol. 1998.

    • "Hurka on Rational Regret,” BEARS Symposium on Thomas Hurka's "Monism, Pluralism and Rational Regret,” Ethics, Vol. 106 No. 3 April 1996

    • Marcia Baron, Kantian Ethics Almost Without Apology (Cornell University Press, 1995), The Philosophical Review; 1995

    • Victoria S. Wike, Kant on Happiness in Ethics. (SUNY Press, 1994), Ethics, October 1995

    • Allen Rosen, Kant's Theory of Justice. (Cornell University Press, 1994), Ethics, April 1995

“Can Virtue Ethics Be Saved?”

    • Department Colloquium, University of Arkansas, Dec. 3, 2010

“Can There Be Duties to God?”

    • Workshop in Philosophy of Religion, January, 2010

“Kantian Contractualism and Self-Improvement”,

    • Arizona Workshop in Normative Ethics, January, 2010

"Value, Obligation, Autonomy"

“Hill on Self-Regarding Duties”

    • Conference in honor of Thomas E. Hill, jr., University of Minnesota, Nov. 4-6, 2005

“The Case for Kantian Irrealism”

    • Departmental Speaker Series, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Oct. 10th 2005

“Irrealism, Intrinsic Value, Universality”

    • 2nd Annual Metaethics Workshop, University of Wisconsin, Sep. 16-18th 2005

"The Good Will and the Moral Worth of Actions from Duty"

    • Workshop on Kant's Ethics, UNC-Chapel Hill, Nov. 19-21, 2004

"Reply to Valerie Tiberius on Virtue and Right"

    • Colloquium, American Philosophical Association Central Division Meeting, April, 30 2004+

"How to be a Meta-Ethicist: Dreier and Fine on Moral Realism"

    • Symposium, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting, March, 2004 (Primary Speaker, Jamie Dreier)+

"The Good of Self-Development"

    • Bowling Green State University, Colloquium, Feb. 6, 2004+

    • University of Colorado, Boulder, Rocky Mountain Virtue Ethics Summit, April 3-5, 2004

“Hill on Autonomy, Personal Values and Hypothetical Consent”

    • Author-Meets-Critics session on Thomas E. Hill, jr.'s Human Welfare and Moral Worth, North American Kant Society Meeting at American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting, Dec. 27-30, 2003

"Virtue and Right"

    • +Simpson College Lecture Series, February 14, 2002

    • +University of California, Davis, Colloquium, January 15, 2002

    • *British Society for Ethical Theory Conference University of Glasgow, Scotland, July 13-15, 2001

    • *Royal Institute of Philosophy, Conference on the Emotions, University of Manchester, Manchester, England, July 11-13, 2001

    • +Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Collegium Philosophicum, Institut für Philosophie, Berlin, Germany, Nov. 29, 2000

    • +Münster Universität, Seminar für Philosophie, Münster, Germany, Nov. 27, 2000

“Freedom as Self-Conception”

+ North American Kant Society, American Philosophical Association Central Division Meeting, April 22, 2000
"Internal Reasons and the Conditional Fallacy,”

 *Symposium Paper, American Philosophical Association Eastern Division Meeting, December 29, 1998

 +Department of Philosophy, University of Missouri, St. Louis, February, 1998

 +Department of Philosophy, University of Minnesota, January, 1998

"Weakness Incorporated,”

 *American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, December 27-30, 1997

 *Central States Philosophical Association, October 17-18, 1997
"Kant's Conception of Virtue"

 +International Conference on Kant's Metaphysics of Morals: A 200-Year Tradition in Distinguishing Law and Ethics. Smith College, August, 1996

"Reasons and Advice for the Practically Rational”

American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting, April, 1996

Mountain-Plains Philosophy Conference, October 1995

Central States Philosophical Association, October, 1995

"Kymlicka on Consequentialism,”

 *Society for Social and Political Philosophy, April, 1996


*Kansas City Philosophical Society, University of Kansas, November 1995

"Kant on Merit,”

*American Philosophical Association, Central Division Meeting, May 1994

"Kant's 'No Accident' Criterion of Moral Worth,”

*American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting, December, 1993

"The Failure of Explanationism in Moral Theory,”

*American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting, December, 1992

 +Dept. of Philosophy, University of Kansas, February, 1992 (job talk)

 +Dept. of Philosophy, University of Missouri, January, 1993 (job talk)

 "Wyckoff on the Problem of Timing in Maxims", American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting, April, 2007
 "Brink on Normative Perfectionism", Florence G. Kline Colloquium on Intrinsic Value, UM-Columbia, April, 2007
 "Vilhauer on Differential Distribution Without Responsibility", American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting, December, 2006
 "Sayre-McCord on Rational Agency and Normative Concepts", Florence G. Kline Colloquium on Normativity in Ethics and Epistemology, Sept. 2006

 “Sverdlik on Motive, Maxims and Deontic Relevance” American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting, March 2006

 "David Copp on Collective Agents", Florence G. Kline Colloquium on Collective Rationality, Oct. 2005.
 "Comment on Mathias Risse's "Do We Live in an Unjust World?", Florence G. Kline Colloquium on Poverty and Global Justice, April 9, 2004.
 "Stephen Sverdlik on Acting From Duty", Central States Philosophical Association, Chicago, IL, Oct. 17-18, 2003
 "Colin P. Bird on Reciprocity and Mutual Respect", American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting, April 24, 2003
 “Kahn on Non-Cognitivism and Disagreement”, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting, April 30, 2002
 "Wiland on Psychologism, practical reason, and the possibility of error", Central States Philosophical Association, Washington University, St. Louis, October 2001
 “Stark on Sympathy and Moral Worth,” American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting, April 6, 2000
 "Gowans on Practical Identities and Autonomy,” Comment, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting, April 4, 1999
 “Baron on Love and Respect in Kant's Tugendlehre,” Spindel Conference on Kant's "Metaphysics of Morals,” Memphis, TN, October 2-4, 1997
 “Shafer-Landau’s Reliabilist Ethical Intuitionism,” Central States Philosophical Association, October, 1996
 "Inflating Impartiality: Lawrence Blum's "Deflating Particularity,” Colloquium on Impartiality in Ethics, University of Utah, May
 "Latham on 'Acting Solely from the Motive of Duty'” Comment, Mountain-Plains Philosophy Conference, October
Graduate Seminars:

Phil. 8100 Proseminar in Philosophy (FS 2004)

 Recent Work in Metaethics (FS 2004)

Naming and Necessity (FS 2007)

. Naming and Necessity (FS 2011)

Phil. 8210 Teaching Philosophy

Phil. 9901 Recent work on the Groundwork (WS 1993)

Phil. 9901 Korsgaard's Sources of Normativity (FS 1997)

Phil. 9520 Ethical Theory:

 Moral Realism (FS1994)

 Internalism(FS 1996)

 Non-cognitivism (FS 1998)

 Particularism and Intuitionism (FS 2001)

 Reason and Virtue (FS 2003)

 Recent work on Intrinsic Value (FS2006)

Phil. 9120 British Empiricism (FS 1995, FS 1999, WS 2005, WS 2008)

Phil. 9130 Kant (F 2002)

BPA 300 Business Ethics (for the College of Business)

Graduate Tutorials:
 Kant's Critique of Practical Reason

 Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau

 Ethical Theory (Moral Realism)
Undergraduate Courses Taught:
Phil. 1100 Introduction to Ethics

Phil. 2005 Topics: The Meaning of Life

Phil. 2010 Philosophy of Film

Phil. 2440 Medical Ethics

Phil. 3200 History of Modern Philosophy

Phil. 4600 Political and Social Philosophy

Phil. 3800 Rawls

Phil. 4200 Metaphysics

Phil. 4610 Philosophy of Law

Phil. 4500 Theories of Ethics

Phil. 4950 Senior Seminar for Majors (Metaphysics)
M.A. Theses directed or co-directed:
 “Does the Principle of Organic Unities Have a Paradoxical Implication?” Xiaofe Liu, Spring 2008

 “Geach and Good as Predicative”, Phillip Swenson, Fall 2007

 "Is Hard Positivism Too Hard to Swallow?" Jason Glahn, Fall 2004

 "Consent", Aaron Wright, Winter 2005

 "The Morality of Affirmative Action,” Christopher Ballard, 1995

 "Locke's Anti-essentialism and Natural Kinds,” Brian Casey, 1999

 "What Would it Take to Keep Us Regular?,” Omar Moad, 2000

 "Kim on Weak Supervenience," Brian Lang, 2000

 “Swineburn’s Modal Argument for Dualism”, Troy Nunley, 2001
Ph.D. Committees:
 Director, "Internalism and Externalism", Jason Berntsen, Fall, 2007, (Xavier New Orleans, tenure track)

 Director, “Legal Positivism”, Brian Casey, Fall, 2007 (Assistant US Attorney, Kansas City)

 2nd Reader, "Self-determination as a Goal of Correctional Counseling," Frances Gill, 2001

 2nd Reader, "Kant on Truth,” Lori Underwood, 1999

 2nd Reader, "A Justification of Morality within the Rational Choice Framework,” Young Ran Kim, 1997

 “A Defense of Negative Causation”, Michael Hartsock, in progress

 Member, “An Analysis of the State”, Alan Tomhave, Spring 2008

 Member, “Using and Coming to Own”, Eric Roark, Spring 2008

 Member, “A Defense of Moral Perception”, Justin McBrayer, Spring 2008

 Member, “Intellectual Property Rights and the Type/Token Distinction, Fall 2007

 Member, “Critical Pluralism: Religious Models and Approximate Truth”, Matthew Konieczka, Fall 2007

 Member, "Alvin Plantinga's Argument Against Evolutionary Naturalism" , Troy Nunley, 2003

 Member, "Prolegomena to an Occasionalist Metaphysics" Omar Moad, 2002

 Member, "Cartesian Simplicity", Brian Lang, 2001

 Member, "The Problem of Ad-Hocness in Epistemology,” Jamie Phillips, 1999

 Member, "Language, Logic, Knowledge and Reality: The Logical Atomisms of Russell and Wittgenstein,” Jordan J. Lindberg, 1998

 Member, "The Moral Pathology of Modern Character : a Parallel Account to MacIntyre's Critique of Modernity,” Laurence Buckley-Rohrer, 1995
B.A. Honors Theses Directed:

 “Moral Uncertainty and the Justice of Killing in War”, William C. Herbert, Fall 2009

 “Film Evaluation”, Greg Doty, Fall 2009

 “Pornography”, Mary Beth Finch, Spring 2002

 “Utilitarianism and rights”, Tony Baker, Fall 2002

 "Justice as Fairness and Self-Ownership: Cohen's Critique of Rawls," Todd Kennedy, Spring 2000

 "Liberalism and the Problem of Congruence,” Marc Shelley, Spring 2000
External Committees

 Outside member, Fergus Moore, MFA in Pottery, 2006

 Member, APA Central Division Program Committee, 2001-2

 Referee for:

    • Australasian Journal of Philosophy

    • Ethics

    • Nous

    • Journal of the History of Philosophy

    • Canadian Journal of Philosophy

    • The Journal of Ethics

    • Philosopher’s Imprint

    • Philosophical Review

    • Philosophical Papers

    • Philosophical Studies

    • The Philosophical Quarterly

    • Oxford University Press

    • Routledge Press

    • Broadview Press

    • Wisconsin Meta-Ethics Conference, 2008


    • Chair, Sara Chant’s Tenure and Promotion Committee (Fall 2011)

    • Chair, Zac Ernst’s Tenure Review Committee (Fall 2007)

    • Chair, Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Department

    • Chair, Ad Hoc Committee for Non-Regular Faculty Policy (Spring-Fall 2006-7)

    • Member, Matt McGrath’s Tenure Review Committee (2004)

    • Director of Graduate Studies (Fall 1995, 2001-2005)

    • Chair, Ethics Search Committee (Fall 2002)

    • Chair, Committee on Philosophy Graduate Curriculum (Fall 2001-Spring 2002)

    • Member, Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum (Fall 2001-Spring 2002)

    • Chair, Hiring Committee, Ethics (Spring 2000)

    • Hiring Committee, Philosophy of language (1999-2000)

    • Director of Undergraduate Studies (1997-2000)

    • Chair, Speaker's Committee (1994-5)

    • Graduate Recruitment Committee (1994-98)


    • Member, NEH grants committee (1998)

    • Member (alt.) Campus Computer Policy Committee (1998-9)

    • Member, Arts and Sciences Academic Advisory Committee (1994-6)


    • Member, Campus Writing Board (Fall 2008 —Spring 2011 )

    • Member, Campus Grievance Committee (Fall 2004 – Spring 2005)

    • Chair, Graduate Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee (Fall 2002-Spring 2003)

    • Graduate Faculty Senate (Fall 2001 to Spring 2004)

    • Member, Faculty Council (1999-2000)


    • Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity in the Performing Arts and Humanities, 2007. ($1000, plus $2000 research)

    • Provost's Research Leave program, 2005-6

    • Gold Chalk Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching and Advising, 2003

    • University of Missouri System Research Board Grant, 2000-1, $22,942

    • Fellow, Wakonse Conference on College Teaching, 1996

    • Panhellenic/Interfraternity Council Outstanding Teaching Achievement Award, 1996

    • University of Missouri Research Council Summer Research Fellow, 1994, $2,000

    • University Dissertation Fellow, University of North Carolina, 1992-3, $10,000/yr.+tuition & fees

    • Henry Horace Williams Fellow, University of North Carolina, 1987-9 $9,000/yr. + tuition & fees

    • Research Assistant for Prof. William G. Lycan, Winter 1992

    • Research Assistant for Prof. Simon Blackburn, Fall 1991

    • Phi Beta Kappa, Oregon 1984

    • Honors in philosophy, Oregon 1984


    • German


    • Member of American Philosophical Association

    • Panelist, "Religion and Violence,” Speak Your Mind, (Teen Talk Show, Hickman High School), sponsored by the University Hospital and Clinics, Sept. 1994


    • Stephen Darwall, Andrew Downey Orrick Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Yale University

    • Thomas E. Hill, jr., Kenan Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

    • Rosalind Hursthouse, Department of Philosophy, University of Aukland, New Zealand

    • Michael Smith, McCosh Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Princeton University

    • Mark Timmons, Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Arizona

    • J. David Velleman, Professor, Department of Philosophy, NYU

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