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Department of Philosophy


Christopher Tollefsen

Title: Professor
Department: Philosophy
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: Close-Hipp 526
Resources: Curriculum Vitae
Department of Philosophy
Christopher Tollefsen


I received my Ph.D. at Emory University in 1995. After spending a year here at UofSC as a visitor, and then a year teaching philosophy in Ejisu, Ghana, I returned permanently to UofSC in 1997. I have twice had year-long fellowships at the James Madison Program at Princeton University; I’ve also had a visiting fellowship at the Eudaimonia Institute at Wake Forest University.

Research Interests

I work broadly in ethics, in an area of natural law philosophy popularly called the "new" natural law theory.  My work spans the foundations of ethics, action theory, and various areas of practical ethics including medical ethics, the ethics of lying and truth-telling, and the ethics of killing. I'm currently working on some projects addressing questions of human rights, partly as a follow up to my recent work with the Commission on Unalienable Rights.

Recent Publications


A recent article: "The Good of Play in John Finnis’s Natural Law and Natural Rights", Persona y Derecho 2020.

Other work available at

Regularly Taught Courses 

I teach a variety of undergraduate classes as needed, including Law and Religion, Introduction to Philosophy, Crime and Justice, and our Junior and Senior Seminars for Majors.  Recent graduate seminars have focused on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre and Bernard Williams (2019) and the ethics of killing (2017).

Blogs and Public Philophy

I have published a number of more popular essays over the last 13 years for the online journal Public Discourse which are available here.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.