Skip to main content
JP Messina

JP Messina

Assistant Professor // Philosophy

Assistant Professor // Cornerstone

Office and Contact

Room: BRNG 7145


Phone: (765) 494-4679

JP Messina is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy. He offers courses in moral and political philosophy, the ethics of data science, the history of practical philosophy. In addition to teaching responsibilities in the philosophy department, Messina teaches in the college’s Cornerstone Program. Before joining the faculty at Purdue, he held research positions at the University of New Orleans and Wellesley College. He received his Ph.D. from UC San Diego in 2018.

Messina's research asks questions about human freedom across philosophical contexts. For example: are human beings free in the sense necessary to ground attributions of deservingness and the retributive institutions that presuppose them? And what is the status of retributive norms and institutions in political societies characterized by profound disagreement about the answer to this question? What grounds political authority, i.e., the right to rule, and how could such authority be consistent with human autonomy? Supposing that political authority can be justified, what are its limits and what duties do authorities have to outsiders? What (if anything) explains the human normative capacity to acquire property in external things, given that such acquisitions limit the freedom of non-owners? What is free speech, how is it threatened, and why should we care? In addition to addressing such questions from a contemporary perspective, Messina has written extensively in various (perhaps futile) attempts to better understand Immanuel Kant's distinctive approach to them.

His work has appeared in several scholarly venues, including Philosophers' Imprint, the Canadian Journal of Philosophy, the Journal of Applied PhilosophyPoliticsPhilosophy, and EconomicsKantian Review, and the British Journal for the History of Philosophy. His first book, Private Censorship, just published with Oxford University Press, is available here.


Moral, Legal, and Political Philosophy; the History of Modern Philosophy with a focus on Kant