Nicholas Smith

Phone: (603) 862-1329
Office: Philosophy, Hamilton Smith Hall Rm 250EA, Durham, NH 03824
Nick Smith

Nick Smith is a professor and chairperson of the University of New Hampshire Department of Philosophy. Before coming to UNH, Smith worked as a litigator for LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene, and MacRae and as a judicial clerk for the Honorable R.L. Nygaard of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Smith published I Was Wrong: On The Meanings of Apologies with Cambridge University Press in 2008 and Justice through Apologies: Remorse, Reform and Punishment in 2014 (also with Cambridge University Press). Smith regularly appears in the media, including interviews with Diane Rehm, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Guardian UK, NPR, BBC, CBC, CNN, Fortune, Salon, Aeon, Radiolab, Philosophy Talk, and others. He has received teaching awards from the UNH and Vanderbilt.


  • Ph.D., Philosophy, Vanderbilt University
  • J.D., State University of New York at Buffalo
  • B.A., Philosophy, Vassar College

Research Interests

  • Aesthetics
  • Apologies and forgiveness
  • Contemporary continental philosophy
  • Criminal Justice
  • Economic Justice
  • Human Rights & Justice Issues
  • Philosophy of law
  • Social and political philosophy
  • Social Justice

Courses Taught

  • PHIL 420: Intro to Phil of Law/Justice
  • PHIL 424: Future of Humanity
  • PHIL 424H: Honors/Future of Humanity
  • PHIL 436H: Honors/Social & Political Phil
  • PHIL 436W: Social & Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 440: Just Business Ethics
  • PHIL 730: Topics in Theories of Justice
  • PHP 908: Public Health Ethics

Selected Publications

Smith, N. (2020). “Forgiveness in Law,”. In G. Pettigrove, & R. Enright (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Forgiveness. Routledge.

Smith, N. (2019). “Apologies and Transitional Justice: Myths, Ideologies, and Complexities,”. In J. Meierhenrich, A. Hinton, & L. Douglas (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Transitional Justice. Oxford.

Smith, N. J. (2018). “When Our Students Die,” Philosophers in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching, eds. Steven Cahn, Alexandra Bradner, and Andrew Mills (Hackett, 2018). In S. Cahn, A. Brader, & A. Mills (Eds.), Philosophers in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching,. Hackett.

Smith, N. J. (2017). Apologies as Remedies, Apologies as Weapons: Advice for Prime Minister Trudeau. University of Toronto Center for Ethics Journal, 7(7). Retrieved from

Smith, N. J. (2017). Guidelines for Sentencing Apologetic Offenders: Summary Version for Practitioners. University of Toronto Center for Ethics Journal C4eJournal, 9. Retrieved from

Smith, N. (2009). Commodification in law: ideologies, intractabilities, and hyperboles. CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY REVIEW, 42(1), 101-129. doi:10.1007/s11007-009-9098-9

Smith, N. (2008). Questions for a Reluctant Jurisprudence of Alterity. ESSAYS ON LEVINAS AND LAW: A MOSAIC, 55-75. Retrieved from

Smith, N., & Smith, N. (2008). Elements of the Categorical Apology. In I WAS WRONG: THE MEANINGS OF APOLOGIES (pp. 28-107). Retrieved from

Smith, N. (2007). Adorno vs. Levinas: Evaluating points of contention. CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY REVIEW, 40(3), 275-306. doi:10.1007/s11007-006-9016-3

Smith, N. (2005). The splinter in your ear: Noise as the semblance of critique. Culture Theory and Critique, 46(1), 43-59. doi:10.1080/14735780500102421

Most Cited Publications