Jonathan Ashbach

Politics, Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship

Ph.D. Student

“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

Education

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

M.A. Biola University, Christian Apologetics, 2014

M.A. Hillsdale College, Politics, 2017

Research Interests

Dissertation: The Constitutional Thought of James Madison

Political Theory of the American Founding

Contemporary Conservative Political Thought

Shakespeare’s Political Thought

Political Theology

Epistemology and Natural Theology

Academic Experience

PHL 236: Ethics. Taught at Jackson College, Spring 2019.

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

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

Languages

Latin

Spanish

Greek

 


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.