Bernstein, Richard

Richard J. Bernstein
PhD Philosophy, Yale University
Vera List Professor of Philosophy

One of the best definitions of a philosopher was once given by a teacher of mine. A philosopher is someone who asks the questions that a curious imaginative child asks, but is not satisfied with the type of answers that parents normally give. In our reflective moments we all ask philosophic questions about the meaning of life, how things hang together, what we can know, how we should live, what we ought to do. As a philosopher, I passionately struggle with these questions.  As a teacher, I encourage my students to do the same.
Courses Taught:
Mind and Reality
American Pragmatism I: The Classical Pragmatists
Recent Publications:
“The Pragmatic Turn: The Entanglement of Fact and Value,” Hilary Putnam, ed. Yenima Ben-Menahem. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; “Hannah Arendt on the Stateless” Parallax, 34; “Pragmatism and Hermeneutics” in Reason and Reasonableness, Yearbook of Philosophical Hermeneutics, ed. Riccardo Dottori. Piscataway, N.J. Transaction Publishers
“Pragmatic Reflections on Tolerance” ;“Can We Justify Universal Moral Norms?”; “The Abuse of Evil: A Lecture”
“ Derrida: The Aporia of Forgiveness?” Constellations; “The Ineluctable Lure and Risks of Experience: Martin Jay’s Songs of Experience” History and Theory.
Office Location:
Room 238, 65 Fifth Avenue
Office Hours:
Phone Number/Extension:
212 229-5777 ext 3073


Research Interests:
American pragmatism; social and political philosophy; critical theory; Anglo-American philosophy.

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