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J.C. Berendzen

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Interim Director of the Honors Program

J.C. Berendzen
J.C. Berendzen

Dr. Berendzen's work focuses on 19th and 20th Century European philosophy, especially Frankfurt School critical theory and French existential phenomenology. Recently, his research has branched out to consider the roots of critical theory and phenomenology in German Idealism, and to consider the links of so-called Continental philosophy to certain movements in contemporary Anglo-American philosophy.  Dr. Berendzen also directs the Philosophy Pre-Law program and regularly teaches Philosophy of Law. His recent works include the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Max Horkheimer, the article "Coping with Nonconceptualism?: On Merleau-Ponty and McDowell" (Philosophy Today 53:2, 2009), and the essay "The Proto-Morality of Life: Primary Recognition in Axel Honneth's reading of Phenomenology of Spirit," which was presented at the 2010 Pacific APA.

Recent Publications

  • “Suffering and Theory: Max Horkheimer’s Early Essays and Contemporary Moral Philosophy,” Philosophy and Social Criticism, forthcoming.
  • "Max Horkheimer", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2009 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =
  • “Coping with Nonconceptualism?: On Merleau-Ponty and McDowell,” Philosophy Today 53:2 (2009), 161-172.
  • “Postmetaphysical Thinking or Refusal of Thought?: Max Horkheimer’s Materialism as Philosophical Stance,” International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 16:5 (2008), 695-718.
  • “Institutional Design and Public Space: Hegel, Architecture, and Democracy,” Journal of Social Philosophy, 39:2 (2008), 291-307.


Ph.D., Villanova

Classes Taught

  • Race Racism, and Social Justice
  • Critical Social Theory
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Seminar: Human Meaning in the Natural World

Areas of Expertise

Critical Theory, Horkheimer and the Frankfurt School, Hegel