Andrew Pessin

Andrew Pessin

Professor of Philosophy

Joined Connecticut College: 2005

Yale University
M.A., Ph.D., Columbia University


Early modern philosophy

Philosophy of Religion


Jewish philosophy


Pessin’s scholarly work has gone through several phases. His doctorate, and first few publications, were in contemporary philosophy of mind. But then his interest in the relationship between mind, brain, nature in general, and ultimately God led him backwards to the historical roots of philosophy of mind, and he spent some dozen-plus years publishing articles in early modern philosophy—on Descartes, Malebranche, and Leibniz, focusing on the themes of mind, perception, causation, and God.


His interest in these themes then expanded both backward in time and forward. First backward, as he did some work in medieval scholasticism (Aquinas and Suarez in particular), which in turn inspired an interest in medieval Jewish thinkers. Then forward, as the interest in Jewish thinkers spread to include modern and contemporary Jewish thought. His keen awareness of the hostility to Israel across college campuses has also led him to do some work on the history of Zionist thought. Finally, he has always enjoyed writing fiction, so all these interests have come together in the books he has recently published (or is about to publish): a novel based on the sad life and mysterious death of Descartes, an edited anthology on campus anti-Zionism, a book on the history of Jewish thought, and an edited anthology on antisemitism in the United States.

Books by Andrew Pessin Description
Never Green Book Cover   Nevergreen
Poisoning The Wells Book Cover   Poisoning the Wells: Antisemitism in Contemporary America
The Jewish God Question explores what a diverse array of Jewish thinkers have said about the interrelated questions of God, the Book, the Jewish people, and the Land of Israel.
Anti-Zionism on Campus: The University, Free Speech, and BDS (2018) Co-edited with Doron Ben-Atar (Fordham)
The Irrationalist, by Andrew Pessin, book jacket The Irrationalist. A 2017 novel: historical murder mystery based on the difficult life and mysterious death of the famous philosopher, René Descartes
The Study of Philosophy by Andrew Pessin, book jacket   The Study of Philosophy: A Text with Readings
7th edition, 2015.
Uncommon Sense, by Andrew Pessin, book jacket   Uncommon Sense: The Strangest Ideas From the Smartest Philosophers
The Second Daughter, by Andrew Pessin, book jacket   The Second Daughter
2014, novel, under the pen name J. Jeffrey
Philosophy of Mind by Andrew Pessin, book jacket   The Philosophy of Mind
2010, Audio course and book
The God Question, by Andrew Pessin, book jacket   The God Question: What Famous Thinkers From  Plato to Dawkins Have Said About the Divine
The 60-Second Philosopher, by Andrew Pessin, book jacket The 60-Second Philosopher: Expand Your Mind on a Minute or so a Day!

Other books by Pessin:

  • Gray Matters: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind (1997) Co-authored with Sanford Goldberg (Northwestern)
  • The Twin Earth Chronicles: Twenty Years of Reflection on Hilary Putnam's "The Meaning of 'Meaning'" (1996) Co-edited with Sanford Goldberg (Northwestern)

For more information about Pessin and his work, visit his personal webpage.

View the philosophy department website.

Majoring in Philosophy.

I’ve always found almost everything interesting. I majored in physics and philosophy back in the day, and seriously contemplated graduate school in molecular biology, religious studies, and literature. But ultimately I gravitated back to philosophy, because in studying philosophy, one gets to learn (and think) about pretty much almost everything else: there's philosophy of science, of mind, of religion, of art and literature, etc. So philosophy is the perfect way to explore just about everything.

Andrew Pessin

Contact Andrew Pessin

Mailing Address

Andrew Pessin
Connecticut College
Box # PHILOSOPHY/Blaustein Humanities Center
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


326 Blaustein Humanities Center

Personal Website