James Mahon Professor of Philosophy and Adjunct Professor of Law

James Mahon

Washington Hall 310
Website - Curriculum Vitae

Professor Mahon joined the Department of Philosophy in 2000 as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy. He was appointed head of the Philosophy Department in 2007. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at W&L School of Law. He has been a Visiting Scholar in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Princeton University. In 2011-2012 he was a Lecturer in the Program on Ethics, Politics, and Economics at Yale University, and a Visiting Researcher at Yale Law School.

Professor Mahon’s research interests are in moral philosophy, early modern philosophy, applied ethics, and the philosophy of law. He has written on lies and deception for a number of books, journals, and encyclopedias, including the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.


Ph.D. Philosophy, Duke University
M.Phil. Philosophy, University of Cambridge
B.A. Philosophy and Modern English, Trinity College, Dublin


Moral Philosophy, History of Moral Philosophy, Early Modern Philosophy, Applied Ethics, Lies and Deception


Ancient Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, Philosophy and Religion, Nietzsche, Contemporary Ethics, Philosophy of Law, History of Ethics, Metaethics, Roe v. Wade and the Abortion Question, Bioethics, The Limits of Morality 

Jurisprudence (W&L Law School)

Lies and Deception (Yale Summer Session)

Selected Publications

Book chapters

  • “Deception and Breach of Trust in Lying” in Lying: The Making of the World, eds. J. Edward Mallot, Ayanna Thompson, Steven Neuberg, and Jennifer Fewell (Harvard University Press, in preparation)
  • “Secrets vs. Lies” in Lying: Language, Knowledge, and Ethics, eds. Andreas Stokke and Eliot Michaelson (Oxford University Press, in preparation)
  • “Modern philosophical approaches to lying” in The Oxford Handbook of Lying, ed. Jörg Meibauer (Oxford University Press, in preparation)
  • “Abortion and Indecency” in Philosophy and Public Matters: From Philosophical Reflection to Political Engagement, eds. Allyn Fives and Keith Breen (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming)
  • Lying for the Sake of the Truth: The Ethics of Deceptive Journalism” in Contemporary Media Ethics, eds. Mitchell Land, Koji Fuse and Bill W. Hornaday (Marquette Books, 2014), 219-237
  • MacIntyre and the Emotivists” in What Happened in and to Moral Philosophy in the Twentieth Century? Essays in Honor of Alasdair MacIntyre, ed. Fran O’Rourke (University of Notre Dame Press, 2013): 167-201
  • The Truth About Kant On Lies” in The Philosophy of Deception, ed. Clancy Martin (Oxford University Press, 2009): 201-224
  • Getting Your Sources Right: What Aristotle Didn’t Say” in Researching and Applying Metaphor, eds. Lynne Cameron and Graham Low (Cambridge University Press, 1999): 69-80
  • Truth and Metaphor: A Defense of Shelley” in Metaphor and Rational Discourse, eds. Bernard Debatin, Timothy R. Jackson and Daniel Steuer (Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1997): 137-46