Skip to main content
URI Campus Shots

Galen A. Johnson: Chair of the Philosophy Dept


Department of Philosophy
228 Chaffee Social Science Ctr
142 Flagg Rd.
University of Rhode Island
Kingston, RI 02881
Phone: 401-874-4790

E-mail: Galen Johnson

Prof Galen Johnson

Galen A. Johnson, Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Dept, received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Boston University (1977).  He joined the URI Philosophy Department in 1976.  Professor Johnson’s research interests are phenomenology, recent French philosophy (especially Merleau-Ponty), aesthetics, and American philosophy. He is the author of numerous articles in contemporary continental philosophy and has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council for Learned Societies, and the American Philosophical Society.  He is currently the General Secretary of the International Merleau-Ponty Circle and he is the Director of the URI Center for the Humanities.


Major publications include:

Earth and Sky, History and Philosophy.  New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 1989.

Ontology and Alterity in Merleau-Ponty.  Co-editor with Michael Smith.  Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1990.


Aesthetics Reader Retrieval of the Beautiful
The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader: Philosophy and Painting. 
Editor.  Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1993.  Second printing, 1995.  Third printing, 1998.
The Retrieval of the Beautiful: Thinking Through Merleau-Ponty's Aesthetics.
Northwestern University Press 2010.


Feature Story in URI's Research & Innovation Magazine 2010-2011


Current research:

Merleau-Ponty's Poets and Poetics

Professor Johnson regularly teaches PHL 204: Theories of Human Nature, PHL 235: Modern Thought: Philosophy and Literature, PHL 324: Recent European Philosophy; and PHL 325: American Philosophy.  He also teaches regularly in the University Honors Program and holds a joint appointment with the Honors Program.


URI Center for the Humanities:

URI Honors Program:

The International Merleau- Ponty Circle web site:

Chiasmi International: Trilingual Studies concerning the Thought of Merleau-Ponty:



Questions about the Philosophy Dept Website? Contact the Dept Webmaster