Jonathan Price

Barry Fellow of Pusey House and Pusey Fellow of St Cross College

Other affiliations

Programme for the Foundations of Law and Constitutional Government


Dr Jonathan Price received his PhD from the Leiden University Law School (NL) on the topic of the foundational virtues and values of the modern, or 'egalitarian', constitution. He holds a dual fellowship as the John and Daria Barry Fellow of Pusey House and Pusey Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford, and is a Research Associate of the Programme for the Foundations of Law, in Oxford's Faculty of Law. He is a visiting researcher at the Leiden Law School, where since 2009 he has been teaching philosophy and law topics. He has been teaching similar topics at Oxford since 2011. 

Before being elected a fellow of St Cross College, Dr Price held a junior research fellowship at the Aquinas Institute, Blackfriars, Oxford. He is a DPhil candidate (part-time), reading Law, at Oriel College. The topic of his research is the theological origins of modern contract doctrine, particularly in the thought of Hugo Grotius. Under the influence of the learned Leiden professor of theology, Jacobus Arminius, Grotius introduced a notion of the radically-free will into modern contract doctrine, where it has remained ever since, most often as a buried assumption. For one academic year during his doctoral studies, Dr Price was a visiting graduate student of Oxford University, there benefitting from courses in contract law, delict, Roman foundations of private law, Roman law, and jurisprudence. Dr Price has taken degrees in the philosophy of religion at Leiden University and philosophy at Dickinson College (USA), with significant work on Classics and creative writing. Prior to that, he happily passed three years in the Great Books Programme at the Templeton Honors College (USA). He is the founding editor of the peer-reviewed journal Politics & Poetics (

Research Interests

Dr Price's research has focused on modern philosophical anthropology, its origins and development, particularly in law and philosophy. He has a special interest in the way 'big' ideas make their way from, through, and between various disciplines  and practices, such that they become motivating themes of an age, both for individual persons and for society. Three such contemporary ideas are: equality, autonomy, and consent (or consensualism). Three such ancient ideas are: honour, order, and obedience. 

Dr Price is interested in the way a unified social and moral vision of law, theology, and philosophy came undone at the outset of the modern age, and the various attempts either to restore or remake such unity - from revolutionary and reactionary movements of the nineteenth century to twentieth century scientism and spiritualism to contemporary egalitarianism and identitarianism. Separately, Dr Price has developed a research project in experimental philosophy, working with neuroscientists to interrogate the boundary between social and political animals. The goal of this 'Political Animal Project'  is to improve the translation of results between certain natural sciences and the social sciences.