John E. Hare

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John Edmund Hare (born 26 July 1949) is a British classicist, philosopher, ethicist, and currently Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale Divinity School.


He received a Bachelor of Arts honours in Literae Humaniores in 1971 from Balliol College, Oxford, and a PhD in classical philosophy from Princeton University in 1975. He was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Michigan in 1975, a Professor of Philosophy at Lehigh University from 1975 to 1989, and Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College from 1989 to 2003. Hare served on the staff of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs from 1982–83, and was selected to give the Gifford Lectures at the University of Glasgow in 2005. He has been the Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale University since 2003.

Hare has been on the editorial boards of several academic journals, including The Journal of Religious Ethics, American Philosophical Quarterly, History of Philosophy Quarterly, and Ancient Philosophy, and currently serves on the boards of the Yale Center for Bioethics, Yale Center for Faith and Culture and Berkeley Divinity School.

Philosophical Views

The author of over sixty articles in scholarly journals, Hare has worked on a wide range of topics, including ancient philosophy, medieval Franciscan philosophy, Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, contemporary ethical theory, the theory of the atonement,[disambiguation needed] medical ethics, international relations and aesthetics.

The son of the British utilitarian R. M. Hare, Hare has created an ethical theory which integrates Kantian deontological ethics with utilitarian consequentialism. Unlike his father's, Hare's philosophy is specifically Christian and includes elements of Divine command theory.

In The Moral Gap (1996), Hare outlined and analyzed various philosophers' responses to the gap — which he finds to be identified in Kant's writings — between human ethical ability and human ethical duty; between what is possible and what is required. He sees this "moral gap" as ultimately unbridgable apart from religion. In God’s Call (2001), Hare addresses the "moral gap" with a discussion of the divine command theory of morality, and argues against J. B. Schneewind's secularized reading of Kant's philosophy.

In Why Bother Being Good? (2002), Hare delivers a non-technical apologetic for Christian beliefs and argues that morality cannot be adequately grounded in reason alone but needs a firm basis in faith, or something that will do the work theology has done for the Western tradition in the past. In God and Morality: A Philosophical History (2007), Hare evaluates the ethical theories of Aristotle, Duns Scotus, Immanuel Kant, and the author’s father, R. M. Hare, with close attention to the similarities among the philosophers and the relationship of their work to theism.

Awards and Honors

In addition to being the Plantinga Lecturer (2008) and Gifford Lecturer (2005), Hare has been the Calvin Lecturer (1999–2000) and the Stob Lecturer (1999). He held the senior fellowship at the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame from 1998–99, and again from 2008-09. In 1997, Hare was the recipient of the Institute for Advanced Christian Studies Book Prize and held the Pew Evangelical Fellowship from 1991–92. He was also a Congressional Fellow of the American Philosophical Association from 1981–82, and a visiting fellow in the humanities at the Medical College of Pennsylvania from 1978-81. Hare is the recipient of the Junior Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (1981) and was elected an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa (1979).


Hare worked as a teacher at Tyndale Biscoe School in Kashmir (India) from 1966-67. He is a published composer of liturgical compositions for choir and organ. A student in Hare's course on theological aesthetics at Yale disclosed on the student review platform Rate My Professors:

"John Hare is a gem, the kind of professor in C. S. Lewis's books. He's brilliant, a leading expert in the field, played Beethoven on the piano to illustrate philosophical concepts, and made me cry while he read poems about God. I will remember his lectures for the rest of my life. He deals in heavy concepts, so do the reading and bring your A game."[1]


See also


  1. "Student review (12/07/2012)". Retrieved 2015-04-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links