John G. Messerly

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Prof. Messerly in 2014, Saint Louis University

John G. Messerly, Ph.D., (born 1955, St. Louis, Missouri) is an American philosopher who has held academic positions at St. Louis University and the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently a scholar of the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, and a member of the Evolution, Complexity, and Cognition Group at Vrije Universiteit Brussel.


Messerly specializes in contemporary views of the meaning of life, and philosophical issues related to transhumanism. His work has appeared in such media outlets as Salon, the online magazine of the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, Humanity+ Magazine, as well as professional journals. Outside of his work on ethics and transhumanism, he is known for his work on Jean Piaget.


  • Philosophical Ethics: Theory and Practice (Puget Sound Publishing, 2015)
  • The Meaning of Life: Religious, Philosophical, Transhumanist, and Scientific Perspectives (Puget Sound Publishing, 2013); (Korean translation South Korea: Imprima Korean Agency, 2014.)
  • Piaget’s Conception of Evolution : Beyond Darwin and Lamarck. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1996
  • An Introduction to Ethical Theories (University Press of America, 1995)

Select writings

  • 2014-11-15 "Death should be optional', Salon
  • "The Omission of Unconditional Cooperators: A Critique of Gauthier's Argument for Constrained Maximization," Philosophical Studies 67, 1992, 19-39.
  • 2003-06-01 "I'm glad the future doesn't need us: a critique of Joy's pessimistic futurism." ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society, Volume 33,Issue 2, (June 2003) ISSN 0095-2737, Reply to Bill Joy's Article, "Why The Future Doesn't Need Us".

External links