The Department of Philosophy

"The smaller we come to feel ourselves compared to the mountain, the nearer we come to participating in its greatness."

~Arne Naess

Geoffrey Adelsberg, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Philosophy

Geoffrey Adelsberg
Predolin Humanities Center 328
(608) 663-4429


Geoffrey Adelsberg received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University.

His research focuses on the philosophy of race and racism and its contributions to thinking about punishment and responsibility in the aftermath of traumatic harms. In his research, he has evaluated the moral, social, legal, and political claims of persons victimized by crime and sought to construct reparative responses to those claims. His present work takes up the intersections and contentions between Black and Jewish thought on reparation for historical and present injustices.

He teaches courses in philosophy of race and racism, philosophy of punishment, critical thinking, and ethics.

He is the co-editor of Death and Other Penalties: Philosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration (Fordham University Press, 2015). His essay “U.S. Racism and Derrida’s Theologico-Political Sovereignty” appeared in that volume. His recent "Collective Forgiveness in the Context of Ongoing Harms" will be published in Phenomenology and Forgiveness, ed. Marguerite La Caze (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018).