Paul Fairfield

Paul Fairfield



Arts and Science

People Directory Affiliation Category
  • PhD, McMaster University
Specializations / Research Interests

Continental Philosophy

Personal Website


My research falls broadly within the traditions of hermeneutics, phenomenology, and pragmatism, and major influences on my work include Friedrich Nietzsche, John Dewey, Martin Heidegger, and Hans-Georg Gadamer. Current projects include two books: Introducing Dewey and The Void: An Existential-Political Analysis

The books and essays I have published over the years stem primarily from an interest in philosophical hermeneutics (including Philosophical Hermeneutics Reinterpreted) and some of its implications for philosophy of history (Historical Imagination and Philosophical Reflections on Antiquity), philosophy of education (Teachability and Learnability and Education After Dewey), aesthetics (Artistic Creation, with Jeff Mitscherling), and moral and political philosophy (Why Democracy?Public/PrivateThe Ways of Power, and Moral Selfhood in the Liberal Tradition). Between 2001 and 2007 I served as Editor of Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy and since then I have edited or co-edited five anthologies (including most recently Relational Hermeneutics and Hermeneutics and Phenomenology, with Saulius Geniusas). 

Whatever free time I have is largely spent with my wife, Gwyneth, and our eleven-year-old daughter, Evangeline, or at the gym. I am an eleventh-generation Canadian and a practicing Roman Catholic. 

  • Historical Imagination: Hermeneutics and Cultural Narrative. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2022.
  • Essays: The Philosophy Crush Podcast. Outskirts Press, 2021.
  • Philosophical Reflections on Antiquity: Historical Change. Lanham: Lexington, 2020.
  • Artistic Creation: A Phenomenological Account. Co-authored with Jeff Mitscherling. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2019.
  • Teachability and Learnability: Can Thinking Be Taught? New York: Routledge, 2016.
  • Death: A Philosophical Inquiry. New York: Routledge, 2014.
  • Philosophical Hermeneutics Reinterpreted: Dialogues with Existentialism, Pragmatism, Critical Theory, and Postmodernism. London: Bloomsbury, 2011.
  • Education After Dewey. London: Bloomsbury, 2009.
  • Why Democracy? Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008.
  • Public/Private. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005.
  • The Ways of Power: Hermeneutics, Ethics, and Social Criticism. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2002.
  • Moral Selfhood in the Liberal Tradition: The Politics of Individuality. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.
  • Theorizing Praxis: Studies in Hermeneutical Pragmatism. New York: Peter Lang, 2000.
  • Is There a Canadian Philosophy? Reflections on the Canadian Identity. Co-authored with Gary B. Madison and Ingrid Harris. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2000.
Edited Books
  • Relational Hermeneutics: Essays in Comparative Philosophy. Co-edited with Saulius Geniusas. London: Bloomsbury, 2018.
  • Hermeneutics and Phenomenology. Co-edited with Saulius Geniusas. London: Bloomsbury, 2018.
  • Education and Conversation: Exploring Oakeshott’s Legacy. Co-edited with David Bakhurst. London: Bloomsbury, 2016.
  • Education, Dialogue and Hermeneutics. London: Bloomsbury, 2010.
  • John Dewey and Continental Philosophy. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2010.