Paul Fairfield



Arts and Science

  • PhD, McMaster University
Specializations / Research Interests

Continental Philosophy

Personal Website


My writings fall generally within the traditions of philosophical hermeneutics, phenomenology, and pragmatism, and major influences on my work to date include Friedrich Nietzsche, John Dewey, Martin Heidegger, and Hans-Georg Gadamer. Current projects include a book on the philosophy of history titled Historical Imagination. Whatever free time I have is spent with my wife, Gwyneth, and our ten-year-old daughter, Evangeline, or at the gym.

  • 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.
Recent Chapters in Books
  • “John Dewey and the Lifeblood of Democracy.” In Visions of Democracy, ed. Rene Dentz (Brazil: De Placido Edition, 2019).
  • “Lords of Mendacity.” In America’s Post-Truth Phenomenon, ed. C. G. Prado (Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2018).
  • “Hermeneutical Pragmatism.” In Relational Hermeneutics: Essays in Comparative Philosophy, eds. Paul Fairfield and Saulius Geniusas (London: Bloomsbury, 2018).
  • “Nietzsche and Self-Education.” In Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory, ed. Michael A. Peters (New York: Springer, 2016).
  • “Social Media and Communicative Unlearning.” In Power and Social Media, ed. C. G. Prado (Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2016).
  • “Make It Scientific: Education as a Social Science.” In Hermeneutic Philosophies of Social Science, ed. Babette Babich (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017).
  • “Artistic Creation: On Mitscherling and Dylan.” In Essays on Aesthetic Genesis, eds. Charlene Elsby and Aaron Massecar (Lanham: University Press of America, 2016).
  • “A Phenomenology of Listening.” In Education and Conversation: Exploring Oakeshott’s Legacy. Eds. David Bakhurst and Paul Fairfield (London: Bloomsbury, 2016).
  • “Hermeneutics and Education.” In The Blackwell Companion to Hermeneutics. Eds. Chris Lawn and Niall Keane (London: Blackwell, 2016).
  • “Rationality, Knowledge, and Relativism.” In The Blackwell Companion to Hermeneutics. Eds. Chris Lawn and Niall Keane (London: Blackwell, 2016).

A complete list of Paul Fairfield’s publications can be found on his personal website.


About 40 book reviews in such journals as Symposium, Teachers College Record, Philosophy in Review, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, New Nietzsche Studies, Philosophical Books, International Studies in Philosophy, Human Studies, The Review of Politics, Social Theory and Practice, and Continental Philosophy Review.

Work in Progress

A book titled "Historical Imagination"



  • Philosophy 273: Continental Philosophy 1800-1900
  • Philosophy 373: Continental Philosophy 1900-1960
  • Philosophy 374: Continental Philosophy 1960-The Present
  • Philosophy 467/867: Hermeneutics