Skip to main content


Patricia Johnson

Professor Emerita; Distinguished Service Professor


College of Arts and Sciences: Philosophy


Email: Patricia Johnson
Website: Visit Site


  • Ph.D., University of Toronto


Dr. Patricia Johnson specialized in hermeneutics, 19th and 20th century continental philosophy and philosophy of religion. She began her career at the University of Dayton in 1979 as a faculty member in philosophy. She directed the Women's Studies Program in the 1980s and chaired the Department of Philosophy from 1993-2001. From 2001-04 she served as Associate Dean for Connected Learning in the College of Arts and Sciences. In that capacity she was responsible for oversight of the General Education Program for the entire University. In addition, she initiated and implemented the Humanities Fellows Program and the Jacob Program in Professional Ethics. Dr. Johnson served as Alumni Chair in Humanities from 2009-13. As chairperson and associate dean, she facilitated the development of the B.A. program in India. She is deeply committed to connected and integrated learning and teaching. She helped develop the Core Program, and has team-taught a number of courses. She has taught courses at all levels of philosophy.

Faculty perspective

"My own undergraduate experience motivated me to develop a life-long commitment to learning that is interdisciplinary and that finds creative ways of crossing boundaries. I have graduate degrees in both comparative religion and philosophy and read widely in many disciplines. Over my years at UD, I have been involved in many projects that advance what we call connected learning. Developing the undergraduate program in India has probably been the most rewarding of these projects. My research reflects this interdisciplinary interest. As Alumni Chair, I am helping advance curricular development related to diversity issues and working on a book on friendship."

Research interests

  • 19th and 20th century philosophy
  • Hermeneutics
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Feminist philosophy

Selected publications and presentations


“The Enigma of Practical Reasoning,” in Phronetic Rationality/La rationalité herméneutique, Maria Luisa Portocarrero, Luis Umbelino, and Andrzej Wierceinski,(eds.).  International Studies in Hermeneutics and Phenomenology, Vol. 3. Berlin-Münster-Wien-Zürich-London: LIT Verlag, 2011:  145-158.

“Practical Reasoning, Conversation, Friendship,” in Gadamer’s Hermeneutics and the Art of Conversation. Andrzej Wiercinski (ed). International Studies in Hermeneutics and Phenomenology, Vol. 2. Berlin-Münster-Wien-Zürich-London: LIT Verlag, 2011: 187-200.

"Building Coalitions Across Difference," Journal for Peace and Justice Studies 19.1 (2009):3-13.

"Care Ethics and the Nurturing of Public Discourse: Language, Values, and the Voice of Ellen Goodman," (With Kathleen Watters) Teaching Ethics 8.2 (2008): 29-42.

"Thinking Gardening as Dwelling," APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy 8:1 (Fall 2008): 16.

"Phenomenology of Spiritual Friendship and Discourse About God," New Blackfriars 88:1017 (Sept. 2007): 549-563.

"Learning to Question," Philosophy, Feminism, and Faith. Eds. Ruth Goenhout and Marya Bower. Indiana University Press, 2003. 140-151.

"Questioning Authority," Rereading the Canon: Feminist Interpretations of Hans-Georg Gadamer. Ed. L. Code. Penn State University Press, 2003. 307-324.

Wadsworth Philosophers Series volumes: On Arendt, On Gadamer, On Heidegger, and On Wollstonecraft.

See a complete list of publications on my homepage.


"Spiritual Friendship and Christian Academic Community" The John G. Thompson Christian Philosophy Lecture. University of Dayton. March 15, 2005.

"Natality and Creation in Christian Narratives." American Philosophical Association. Midwestern Regional Meeting, April 2000.