Mitchell Aboulafia

Professor, Philosophy

Fellow, Center for Ethics, Manhattan College, current.  

Fellow, Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 2012-2013.


  • PHD, Boston College
  • BA, SUNY Stony Brook

Courses Taught

PHIL 150      Roots: Philosophy
PHIL 334      Existentialism

PHIL 325      Marx and Marxism
GOVT 374    Western Political Thought
PHIL 374      Western Political Thought
PSYC 330     Philosophy and Psychology
PHIL 299      Philosophy and Psychology

Phil 399        Metaphysics

  • Research
    • Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics, Pragmatism, 19th and 20th European Thought, and the interaction between European and American Philosophy.  
    • Current research focuses on the nature of the self, self-determination, judgment, and the sources of moral action.
  • Publications and Scholarly Activities
    • Author of Transcendence: On Self-Determination and Cosmopolitanism (Stanford University Press)
    • Author of The Cosmopolitan Self: George Herbert Mead and Continental Philosophy (University of Illinois Press)
    • Author of The Mediating Self: Mead, Sartre, and Self-Determination (Yale University Press)
    • Author of The Self-Winding Circle: A Study of Hegel's System (W.H. Green).
    • Editor of Philosophy, Social Theory, and the Thought of George Herbert Mead (SUNY Press)
    • Co-editor of Habermas and Pragmatism (Routledge).
    • Also author of numerous articles in social theory, American philosophy, and European thought on topics such as cosmopolitanism, sympathy, expressivism, recognition, ethics of care, the social self, and individuality, as well as on philosophers and social theorists, for example, Habermas, Hegel, G. H. Mead, W.E.B. Du Bois, William James, Sartre, Charles Taylor, Bourdieu, and Levinas.
    • Co-editor of the journal Contemporary Pragmatism from 2008-2013.
  • Professional Experience and Memberships

    Professional Experience

    • Chair of Liberal Arts (2006-2008) and Director of Interdivisional Liberal Arts (2008-2011) at The Juilliard School.
    • Co-director of the Writing and Communication Center, The Juilliard School (2007-2011); Professor of Liberal Arts and Philosophy, The Juilliard School.
    • Professor of Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University (2003-2007, on leave 2006-2007). 
    • Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of Colorado, Denver (1995-2003).
    • Director of Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs in Humanities and Social Science, University of Colorado, Denver (1997-2003).
    • Assistant, Associate, and Professor of Humanities and Philosophy, University of Houston-Clear Lake (1978-95).
    • Director, Project for Professional Ethics, University of Houston-Clear Lake; co-director, Center for Ethics and Community, University of Colorado, Denver; co-director, Center for Ethics, Manhattan College.
    • Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Philosophy Graduate Program, The New School for Social Research, Fall 2006.
    • Visiting Professor of Philosophy (part-time), Rice University, 1990, 1992-1993.


  • Honors, Awards, and Grants

    Honors & Awards

    • Distinguished Ph.D. Award, Boston College, presented by the faculty of the Department of Philosophy in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Boston College Graduate School, April 2004. (One graduate selected by the faculty to represent all of the Department’s doctoral alumni.)


    • IBM/TQM: three grants from IBM, to fund the Project for Professional Ethics, 1993, 1994, 1995.
    • GTE Lectureships in Technology and Ethics, a conference on Values and Space Technologies, through the Project for Professional Ethics.
    • President's Fund for the Humanities, University of Colorado, several grants.
    • Faculty Research Support Fund, University of Houston-Clear Lake, several grants.