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Philosophia Publications is the publishing imprint for books and some other writings authored solely by Alan E. Johnson, an independent scholar in the fields of history, constitutional law, political science, and philosophy. Mr. Johnson holds an A.B. (political science) and A.M. (humanities) from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He is retired from a long career as an attorney in which he focused mainly but not exclusively on constitutional and public law litigation.  For additional information, see his Bio and List of Publications.

Mr. Johnson is the author of many publications, including the books The Electoral College: Failures of Original Intent and a Proposed Constitutional Amendment for Direct Popular Vote (Philosophia 2018), The First American Founder: Roger Williams and Freedom of Conscience (Philosophia 2015) (errata and supplemental comments are posted here, and excerpts are posted here and here), and First Philosophy and Human Ethics: A Rational Inquiry (Philosophia  2000) (errata and revisions/supplemental comments are posted here), all of which are (or, in the case of The Electoral College, will be) available in paperback and Kindle e-book editions.  Mr. Johnson is planning a replacement of First Philosophy and Human Ethics with a new book provisionally entitled Reason and Human Ethics, which will likely be published in or after 2020.

He is also the founding moderator of the Political Philosophy and Ethics discussion group on  All persons interested in political philosophy and/or ethics are welcome to join this group.


Reviews of The First American Founder: Roger Williams and Freedom of Conscience by Alan E. Johnson:

"Alan Johnson takes a completely new look at the early beginnings of . . . the concept of 'separation of church and state' in our governmental system.  . . . Johnson brings the reader along on a journey that reveals that, long before Thomas Jefferson and James Madison argued for a 'wall of separation between church and state' for a young America, the seventeenth-century New England minister Roger Williams' belief in 'freedom of conscience' . . . for all men--believers in Christianity or not--had pre-dated their convictions by more than a century. . . .  Johnson has given a well-rounded view of Roger Williams and his valuable contribution to American heritage."  --Serena Newman, The Independent Scholar 3:61

 "[Johnson] analyzes the contents of the libraries of the Founding Fathers for key works that Williams would have influenced.  Benjamin Franklin's library contained two of Williams' publications.  Stephen Hopkins, whose ancestor arrived in Providence with Williams, was not the rum-muddled slouch whose character provides comic relief in the musical '1776'; rather, he was an intellectual peer and friend of Franklin's . . . .  Hopkins' history of Rhode Island credits Williams with 'the honor of having been the first legislator in the world; in its latter ages, that fully and effectually provided for and established a free, full, and absolute liberty of conscience.'"  --Neysa M. Slater-Chandler, The Federal Lawyer

“Williams held the novel view that the religious and civil worlds should be completely separate, and that everyone is entitled to freedom of conscience.  This view may not seem remarkable in the early twenty-first century, but it is still a view not shared by all, even in the United States, as one can see in the debate over whether marriage is a civil or a religious right, in the backlash against mosques in some neighborhoods, in remaining blue laws that prohibit retail establishments from operating on Sundays, and so on. . . .  It is Johnson’s assembly of Williams’s writings on the subject and the presentation of them which make his book so important and a highly recommended read.”  -- John B. Tieder, Jr., Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy


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