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Jonathan Ashbach

Ph.D. Candidate

Fortuna, California

Education

B.A. Humboldt State University, Politics and Economics, 2012

M.A. Biola University, Christian Apologetics, 2014

M.A. Hillsdale College, Politics, 2017

“Government is the use of violence by some people against other people in order to make the latter do what the first people want. How to justify such behavior is a fascinating question.”

~ Jonathan Ashbach

Teaching Experience

Lecturer in Politics (full-time), Baylor University, Fall 2019-present. Teaching PSC 1387 U.S. Constitution and PSC 1305 - American National Government

PHL 236: Ethics, Jackson College, Spring 2019.

About

Government is not primarily a thing, but an action. It is the use of violence by some people against other people in order to make the latter do what the first people want. The question of how and in what circumstances this can be morally justified has fascinated me since my freshman year of high school.

At Hillsdale I have the opportunity to study this question both in itself, as well as in the answers that have been given to it by a variety of thinkers throughout history. My studies have taken me to the American Founding and the constitutional thought of James Madison, the Founding’s most systematic thinker about government, insofar as these are normative for the legal theory of the American constitutional system of government. They have also surveyed a wide variety of theories as to the nature of what is ethically right, the political right that flows from that, and the intellectual presuppositions necessary to knowledge of either.

After graduation I hope to teach at the university level and continue ongoing research into these all-important questions.

Dissertation

"The Logic of the Social Contract: Authority in the Constitutional Thought of James Madison"

Research Interests

Political Theory of the American Founding

Contemporary Conservative Political Thought

Shakespeare’s Political Thought

Political Theology

Epistemology and Natural Theology

Conference Presentations

"Against Every General Principle: Prudence in the Constitutional Thought of James Madison." Presented at the 6th Annual Shawnee Trail Conference, Baylor University, Waco, TX, April 2020.

"Make High Majesty Look Like Itself: Shakespeare's Politics and Richard II." Presented at the Northeastern Political Science Association, Philadelphia, PA, November 2019.

"For Love and Country: Marriage as Critique in Shakespeare's English History Tetralogies." Presented at the Assoction for Core Texts and Courses, Santa Fe, NM, April 2019.

“Reason and the Will of God: The Foundations of John Locke’s Natural Law.” Presented at the Association for Core Texts and Courses, Framingham, MA, April 2018.

“John Witherspoon’s Critique of Eudaemonism.” Presented at the Association for Core Texts and Courses, Dallas, TX, April 2017.

Languages

Latin

Spanish

French