Faculty and Researchers

The Heller School for Social Policy and ManagementReturn to this website's homepageBrandeis University

Assistant Professor of the Philosophy of Justice, Rights and Social Change

rsampath@brandeis.edu  •  Heller-Brown Building  • 157  •  781-736-5338


General topics in applied moral and political philosophy; comparative religions; theories of justice; development ethics; philosophy of human rights and theories of democracy


  • HS 210f - Comparative Approaches to Global Injustice and Social Inequality
  • HS 235f - Democracy and Development
  • HS 259f - Topics in Sustainable Development
  • HS 292f - Critical Thinking and Advanced Professional Writing
  • HS 293f - Religion and Development
  • HS 301f - Sustainable International Development Advanced Study Seminar
  • HS 307f - Human Development and Capabilities Approach in Practice
  • HS 319f - Ethics, Rights, and Development
  • HS 801g - Proseminar


  • Sampath, Rajesh. "A Hegelian Appropriation of the Greek New Testament as a Response to Nietzsche's Anti-Christian Insights on the Origin of Moral Values." International Journal of Religion and Society 4. 4 (2015). (forthcoming)
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Decomposing Rawls's Philosophy of Justice with Foucault's Discipline and Punish." Journal of Sociology and Social Work 3. 1 (2015). (forthcoming)
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Examining Gyekye's Tradition and Modernity: Philosophical Reflections on African Experience Through the Lens of Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth." Current Politics and Economics of Africa 8. 1 (2015). (forthcoming)
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Expanding Sen's Idea of Justice as a Critical Response To Rawls's The Law of Peoples." International Journal of Ethics 11. 1 (2015). (forthcoming)
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "How Ambedkar's Annihilation of Caste (1936) Synthesizes and Surpasses Hegel's and Marx's Critiques of the Indian Caste System." Journal of Social Inclusion Studies 1. 3 (2015). (forthcoming)
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Jewish Feminist Theology, Human Rights and Sustainable Development: A Kierkegaardian Analysis of the Fall in Genesis and Nussbaum's Women and Human Development." 11/01/15. (forthcoming)
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Philosophy of Development Economics." Journal of Economics and Development Studies 3. 1 (2015). (forthcoming)
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Speak or Forever Hold Your Peace: An Examination of the European Union's Venice Commission Report Addressing Freedom of Expression vs. International Criminalization of Blasphemy, Religious Insults, and Incitement to Religious Hatred." Current Politics and Economics of Europe 26. 1 (2015). (forthcoming)
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "The Idea of the Nation-State as an Obstacle to the Right to Global Development." IAFOR Journal of Arts and Humanities 2. 2 (2015). (forthcoming)
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "The Supreme Court's Religion: Upholding a Singular Political Conception of God in Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway (2014)." International Journal of Religion and Society 4. 4 (2015). (forthcoming)
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "The UN Ethics Office and the Moral Duty of International Civil Service." UN Chronicle 70th Anniversary of the UN Edition. 1 (2015). (forthcoming)
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Towards a Phenomenological Critique of Hegel's Negative Treatment of Africa, China and India in The Philosophy of History." Human/Non-Human and Post-Human: Phenomenology of the Object and Human Positioning in the Cosmos, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. The World Phenomenology Institute, 06/04/2015. (forthcoming)
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "India has outlawed homosexuality. But it's better to be transgender there than in the U.S.." Washington Post 01/29/2015 (2015): <http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/01/29/india-has-outlawed-homosexuality-but-its-better-to-be-transgender-there-than-in-the-u-s/>.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Morality, Ethics and Justice in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit as an Antipode to Rawls's A Theory of Justice." International Journal of Ethics 10. 4 (2015): 315-337.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "The Challenge of Articulating the Ethical Mandate to Reverse Climate Change." Global Future of Development: Global Futures Blog (2015): <http://global.georgetown.edu/futures/dialogue/week-9-climate-change/responses/the-challenge-of-articulating-the-ethical-mandate-to-reverse-climate-change>.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "To Be or Not to Be: The Significance of Ricoeur's Philosophical Ethics and Heidegger on Time and Death for Judging Contemporary American Debates on Physician-Assisted Suicide." International Journal of Ethics 10. 4 (2015): 339-358.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "A Phenomenological Appropriation of Ricoeur's Critique of Rawlsian Contractualism and Kantian Deontology for the Purposes of Building a New Theory of International Economic Justice." International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 2. 4 (2014): 23-43.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "A Review of Rawls Explained: From Fairness to Utopia." Rev. of Rawls Explained: From Fairness to Utopia, by Paul Voice. Philosophy of the Social Sciences vol. 44 of 6 2014: 843-847.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Aligning Global Economic Justice and International Law: A Philosophical Critique of the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court Decision That Limits the Application of the Alien Tort Statute." Journal of Law and Criminal Justice 2. 1 (2014): 197-211.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Deconstructing Taylor's A Secular Age to Get at a Deeper Sense of the Philosophical Problem." Review of Arts and Humanities 3. 1 (2014): 45-54.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Education, Capabilities and Development: Appropriating Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed to Challenge Contemporary Assumptions." International Journal for Innovation Education and Research 2. 4 (2014): 71-76.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Is the Formation of Western Democratic Governments an Unrepeatible Historical Singularity? - A Critical Reading of Locke's Second Treatise of Government in Light of Contemporary Developing Countries." Review of History and Political Science 2. 2 (2014): 227-243.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "The Effective Nexus of Development Action and Public Policy." Rev. of Rethinking Development Challenges for Public Policy: Insights From Contemporary Africa, by K. Hanson, G. Kararach, and T. Shaw, eds. Development in Practice vol. 24.1 04/25/2014: 148-151.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "The Spiritual Dimensions of Poverty: Revisiting Gutierrez's A Theology of Liberation." International Journal of Religion and Society 4. 3 (2014): 1-8.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Toward an Alternative to the GDP: A Critical Analysis of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress Headed by Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen and Jean-Paul Fitoussi." Journal of Social Science for Policy Implications 2. 1 (2014): 59-66.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Framing the Field of Religion and Development." Rev. of Religion and Development: Ways of Transforming the World, by Gerrie Ter Haar, ed.,. Spec. Issue of International Journal of Religion and Society vol. 4 of 1/2 2013: 3-8.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Minority Rights and the Chinese Central Party's Doctrine of the Scientific Development Concept." Harvard Project For Asian and International Relations 2013 Conference: East Meets West- Sustainable Development in the 21st Century. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 02/15/2013.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Religion, Justice and Development: A Theological Response to the Secular Frameworks of Rawls and Sen." Spec. Issue of International Journal of Religion and Society 4. 1/2 (2013): 69-84.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "The Capabilities Approach to Intellectual Property and Global Justice." Rev. of From the Goods to A Good Life: Intellectual Property and Global Justice, by Madhavi Sunder. Law and Society Review vol. 47.2 06/01/2013
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Book Review." Rev. of Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey, by Ahmet Kuru and Alfred Stepan, eds.,. International Journal of Religion and Society vol. 3.2 2012: 161-167.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "The Relation of Rights and Economics." Rev. of Economic Policy and Human Rights: Holding Governments to Account, by Radhika Balakrishnan and Diane Elson, eds. Development in Practice vol. 22.8 11/01/2012: 1149-1151.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "A Theoretical Contribution to the UN Discussion on Indigenous Rights- A Response to the Human Rights Council Resolution 18/8: Indigenous Peoples’ Language and Culture." Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples- UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Human Rights Council 18/8. 18/8 (2011)
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Ethical Arguments for Global Economic Distributive Justice and and Global Institutional Frameworks." 17th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference: Moving Toward a Sustainable Future, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York City, New York. 05/10/2011.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Submission in Response to Human Rights Council Resolution 15/25: The Right to Development." Intergovernmental Working Group- UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Council 15/25. 15/25 (2011)
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Reading Heidegger on Time and History." Memory, Humanity and Meaning. 1 ed. vol. 1 Ed. Mihail Neamtu and Bogdan Taratu-Cazaban. Bucharest: Zeta Books, 2009. 365-380.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "An Onto-Theological Reading of Derrida's Of Grammatology in Light of the Temporal Dynamics of Exodus 3:14." Theology and Religious Reflection Section of the American Academy of Religion International Meeting and International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Auckland, New Zealand. 07/01/2008.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Ecstatic Historical Time and the Eclipse of Christianity in Heidegger's "Hegel and the Greeks"." Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy 45. 1 (2008): 305-31
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Experiencing the Transformation of the Divine in Heidegger's 1942 Lecture on Hegel's Concept of Experience." 2008 Heidegger Circle Conference, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Illinois. 05/01/2008.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "In the Revelatory Light of the Chiasmic Entwining." Rev. of The Phenomenology of Religious Life, by Martin Heidegger. Arhe vol. 5 2008: 221-228.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Introduction." Saving our Global Heritage. 1st ed. vol. 1 Ed. Global Heritage Fund. Palo Alto: Global Heritage Fund, 2004. 12-27.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Re-Spiriting Hegel and the Passage of Deconstruction: Jean Hyppolite and the General Theory of Epochal Transformation." Journal of Speculative Philosophy 14. 1 (2000): 36-61.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Time's Impossibility: The Holocaust and the Historicity of History." Contemporary Portrayals of Auschwitz: Philosophical Challenges. 1st ed. vol. 1 Ed. James Watson, Alan Rosenberg, Detlef Linke. Amherst: Humanity's Books, 2000. 283-296.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Time of Consumption and the Consumption of Time." The Politics of Human Rights. 1st ed. vol. 1 Ed. Orad Savic. London: Verso Press, 1999. 268-273.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. Four-Dimensional Time: Twentieth Century Philosophies of History in Europe. 1st ed. Latham: University Press of America, 1999.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Consumption of Time and the Time of Consumption: Consumer Society and the "End" of History." Consumption, Markets and Culture 2. 4 (1998): 457-462.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Heidegger, Culture, and the Origin of Historical Time." International Readings on Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture. 1 ed. vol. 4 Ed. Lubava Moreva. St. Petersburg: Russian Institute for Philosophical and Cultural Resarch: EIDOS Center, 1997. 394-401.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Superseding Deconstruction: Blanchot, Hegel, and the Theory of Epochs." Qui Parle 10. 2 (1997): 61-88.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Theoretical Fragments on War, Perception and Historical Time." Current Issues in Political Philosophy: Justice and Welfare in Society and World Order. vol. 4 Ed. Peter Koller and Klaus Puhl. Kirchberg Am Wechsel, Austria: The Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, 1996. 355-359.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "Foucault, Historical Time, and the Origin of Man." Culture and Value: Philosophy and the Cultural Sciences. vol. 3 Ed. Kjell S. Johannessen and Tore Nordenstam. Kirchberg am Wechsel: The Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, 1995. 412-417.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "The Historicity of Archaeology." Symploke 3. 2 (1995): 135-163.
  • Sampath, Rajesh. "The Space of War and the Time of Media." Belgrade Circle 1. 2 (1995).
Rajesh  Sampath's picture


Raj completed his PhD at the University of California, Irvine in the humanities where he studied under the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, the founder of deconstruction. Subsequently, he did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley and a D.A.A.D. research scientist fellowship in Germany where he published articles in continental European philosophy. From 2006-2009, he was an adjunct lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and continued to serve on the Provost Council for College Eight at the University until June 2012. His current research interests and disciplinary expertise include the following: twentieth century Anglo-American and European moral and political philosophy, theories of modernization and social-historical change, epistemology and the sociology of knowledge in comparative religious studies, and comparisons of Western philosophy and traditional African, Indian and Chinese philosophy. Teaching interests include the Anglo-American, European and Global South traditions of philosophical ethics and theories of justice when applied to sustainable development issues.

In the summer of 2010 Raj volunteered with the Jesuit Refugee Services in Rome. In the summer of 2011 he visited different universities in Ghana to learn more about their development studies curricula while visiting development projects in the rural villages of Northern Ghana. In the summer of 2012 Raj visited with Jesuit academic faculty at St. Xavier's College in Mumbai, India to explore collaborations on social justice initiatives and worked with the Center for Social Justice and Governance at the Tata Institute for Social Sciences offering guest lectures and participating in several discussion groups on development ethics and global justice research and curricula. In the summer of 2013, Raj visited the UN Ethics office based in New York. Upon a successful series of meetings he was recently approved by the UN's leadership to co-author an article on the nature, function and mission of the UN Ethics office with its director.

Raj teaches in the Graduate Programs in Sustainable International Development and he is a core member of the Research Center for Global Development and Sustainability at the Heller School.

In addition to being a full-time faculty member of the Heller School, he is a member of the core faculty in the Masters Degree Program in Comparative Humanities within the Division of the Humanities and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.



University of California, Irvine

University of California, Berkeley

Awards and Honors

  • Member, Council of European Studies Research Network- Historical Study of States and Regimes, Columbia University (2013)
  • Member of the Development Studies Association (2012)
  • American Academy of Religion: Member of the International Development and Religion Working Group (2011)
  • Association of American Geographers: "Ask A Geographer Resource: Geography of Religion and Belief Systems" (2011)
  • Member of the Committee on Religion and Faith in the Public Square (2011)
  • Member of the Human Development and Capabilities Association (2011)
  • Member of the International Development Ethics Association (2011)
  • Member of the American Philosophical Association's Research Working Group: "Philosophers for Jesuit Education" (2010)
  • Fellow, College Eight, University of California, Santa Cruz (2006)
  • Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, Research Scientist Fellow, Bremen Universitaet (1999)
  • Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley (1996 - 1998)

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