John Ramsey


Contact Information:


University of California, Riverside, Ph.D. 2013

University of California, Riverside, M.A. 2008

Ursinus College, B.A.  2004

Areas of Interest:

Philosophy of Language, Social Philosophy, and Classical Chinese Philosophy


John Ramsey’s research consists in three overlapping projects in philosophy of language, social practices, and early Chinese thought. The unifying thread involves social roles and social norms, particularly how they affect a person’s commitments, autonomy, and behavior. Beginning with my dissertation, I argue that speech act theory is not sufficient for explaining how speech constitutes oppression and that an account of social norms and institutions must supplement speech act theory. I also am interested in questions of regulation and public policy regarding hate speech, pornography, and the First Amendment. My recent work in early Chinese philosophy examines whether and how early Confucians can revise pernicious and oppressive li (ritualized conventions and social norms) and whether early Confucianism is best characterized as a role ethic, a recent interpretation of early Confucian texts.  Learn more on John’s website.