I'm John Tambornino. I have always been captivated by larger questions, and sought answers or new understandings. These have sometimes changed my life, as I have sought to live them. This passion led me to study and teach philosophy, to careers in academia and public service, and to spiritual exploration in diverse traditions. Building on all of this, I can help you address larger questions, and bring philosophy to life.
Standing on the Acropolis, overlooking the Agora, where Socrates brought philosophy to life (Athens, Greece)
I have taught political philosophy and ethics and public policy at Brown University, Johns Hopkins University, New York University and Western Washington University. My scholarly interests have included embodiment and reflection, philosophy and government, social justice and public policy, philosophy and theology, and the ancient notion of philosophy as a way of life.
In addition, in nearly two decades of public service, I have addressed issues of poverty and disadvantage, and advanced policy analysis and evaluation across government, including working in the White House under two Presidents, and in four federal agencies. My role has been to understand government and public policy, to formulate issues and options, and to explain these understandings to leaders and the public.
I have explored religion, theology, spirituality and meditation through participating in and leading many courses, discussion groups, and retreats. This has broadened my understanding of philosophy, uncovered resources for reflection, and allowed dialogue with persons of diverse beliefs. It also has allowed experimentation with practices of reflection grounded in our nature as emotive, embodied, mortal beings – which I originally explored philosophically in The Corporeal Turn.
My education includes a B.A. (Highest Honors, Phi Beta Kappa) in philosophy from Macalester College, a Ph.D. in political philosophy from Johns Hopkins University, and certification in Philosophical Counseling from the American Philosophical Practitioners Association.
“I do not say with Socrates that the unexamined life is not worth living - that is unnecessarily harsh. However, when we guide our lives by our own pondered thoughts, it then is our life that we are living, not someone else's. In this sense, the unexamined life is not lived as fully.”
Robert Nozick, The Examined Life: Philosophical Meditations (1989)