Arthur Ripstein

arthur-ripstein-utoronto-philosophy (150w)


Professor of Law and Philosophy; University Professor


St. George,

Phone Number:



Arthur Ripstein is Professor of Law and Philosophy and University Professor. He was appointed to the Department of Philosophy in 1987, promoted to Full Professor in 1996, appointed to the Faculty of Law in 1999, and appointed to the rank of University Professor in 2016. He was awarded the Killam prize in humanities in 2021. He served as Chair of the Department 2011-14 and Acting Chair 2018-19.  He received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s degree in law from Yale, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba.

Professor Ripstein’s research and teaching interests include torts, legal theory, and political philosophy. In addition to numerous articles in legal theory and political philosophy, he is the author of Private Wrongs (Harvard 2016), Force and Freedom: Kant’s Legal and Political Philosophy (Harvard 2009) and Equality, Responsibility and the Law (Cambridge 1999). He is editor of Ronald Dworkin (Cambridge 2007) and co-editor of Law and Morality (Toronto 1996, second edition 2001, third edition 2007), and Practical Rationality and Preference (Cambridge 2001). Ripstein’s Tanner Lectures, Rules for Wrongdoers, together with commentaries by Oona Hathaway, Christopher Kutz, and Jeff McMahan and Ripstein’s response will be published by Oxford University Press in the March 2021.  His next book, on Immanuel Kant’s account of the law and morality of war, for which he was awarded a Killam Fellowship from the Canada Council, will appear late in 2021, together with a companion volume of essays about the book, From Constitutionalism to War. He served for 15 years as Associate Editor of Philosophy and Public Affairs, for which he is now Advisory Editor. He is a former Associate Editor of Ethics and the Canadian Journal of Philosophy, serves on the editorial board of Legal Theory, and is Advisory Editor of the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence. His popular work has appeared on Ideas on CBC Radio One.



Kissel Lecture at Harvard University, “Perpetual War or Perpetual Peace?

Lecture at University of Girona “A Wrong Personal to You.



Society for Applied Philosophy Annual Lecture, King’s College London, “Reclaiming Proportionality.” An interview with Ripstein about the lecture.

Listen to Ripstein’s Tanner Lectures on Human Values  “Rules for Wrongdoers,” and “Combatants and Civilians” delivered at Berkeley in April 2019, together with comments from Christopher Kutz, Oona Hathaway, and Jeff McMahan. Read the Transcripts 1 and 2



Read an interview with Ripstein in Noesis (Interview begins on p. 48)

Read an interview with Ripstein about graduate supervision.



B.A. (Hons.) – University of Manitoba (1981)

M.A. – University of Pittsburgh (1984)

Ph.D. – University of Pittsburgh (1986)

M.S.L. – Yale Law School (1994)


Awards and distinctions:

Killam Prize for the Humanities, Canada Council for the Arts 2021

JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award (Annual University-Wide award for one faculty member in humanities or social sciences, 2019).

Tanner Lecturer, University of California Berkeley (Annual Lecture Series, 2019)

University Professor (Special rank reserved for 2% or tenured research faculty, 2016)

Killam Fellowship, Canada Council for the Arts (two year research fellowship 2016)

Faculty Award, University of Toronto Alumni Association (Annual Award given to one faculty member across the University for Excellence in Research and Teaching over an extended period, 2012.)

Canadian Philosophical Association Book Prize (Biennial prize 2011)

Fellow, Royal Society of Canada (2010)

Inaugural Nicholas Hoare/Renaud Bray Book Prize of the Canadian Philosophical Association (2001)

Connaught Fellowship, (2000)

Rockefeller Visiting Fellowship, Princeton University (1994-1995)


Selected Publications:

Rules for Wrongdoers (Oxford University Press, 2021)

Private Wrongs (Harvard University Press, 2016)

Force and Freedom: Kant’s Legal and Political Philosophy (Harvard University Press, 2009).

Equality, Responsibility and the Law (Cambridge University Press, 1998)


Looking for a different Ripstein instead?

  • Read about Mexican filmmaker Arturo Ripstein.
  • Read about Arthur Ripstein’s mother, Ellen, who was a spy and later Canada’s first woman stockbroker.
  • Watch the other Ellen Ripstein, his cousin the crossword puzzle solver, win the world crossword championship.
  • Learn about the Ripstein Procedure.


Jackman Law Building (Room J322), 78 Queen's Park Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5

Secondary Address:

Jackman Humanities Building (Room 506), 170 St. George St. Toronto, ON M5S 3C5