Skip to main content
MenuSearch & Directory

Ruth Porter Groff, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Political Science

Affiliated Faculty

Courses Taught

Courses in the history of social, political and moral thought, as well as courses about structural power.


Ph.D., York University (Canada)
M.A., University of Toronto
B.A., Swarthmore College

Research Interests

Metaphysics (esp. causal powers); select figures in the history of philosophy; meta-philosophy 

Link to personal website:

Link to Powers, Capacities & Dispositions Blog:

Publications and Media Placements

Selected publications


A Critical Introduction to Causal Powers and Dispositions, Bloomsbury, under contract.

Ontology Revisited: Metaphysics in Social and Political Philosophy, Routledge, 2012.

Critical Realism, Post-Positivism and the Possibility of Knowledge, Routledge, 2004.

*Edited Volumes:

Subject & Object: Frankfurt School Writings on Epistemology, Ontology and Method, Bloomsbury, 2014.

(co-edited with John Greco), Powers and Capacities in Philosophy: The New Aristotelianism, Routledge, 2013.

Revitalizing Causality: Realism About Causality in Philosophy and Social Science, Routledge, 2008.


“The Devil is in the Categories: Metaphysics in Social and Political Thought,” Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, August, 2021.

“Conceptualizing Causal Powers: Activity, Capacity, Essence, Necessitation,” Synthese, 2021, Special Issue: New Foundations of Dispositionalism, June 18, 2021. 10.1007/s11229-021-03229-x. 

“What Does the Doing? On Powers, Things and Powerful Things,” in (ed). Anne Sophie Meincke, Dispositionalism: Perspectives from Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science, Synthese Library Series, 2020, pp. 27-40.

“Sublating the Free Will Problematic: Powers, Agency and Causal Determination,” Synthese, Special Issue, 196, January 2019, pp. 179-200.

“Causal Mechanisms and the Philosophy of Causation,” Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 47:3, 2017, pp. 286-305.

“On the Ethical Contours of Thin Aristotelian Marxism,” in (ed.) Michael Thompson, Constructing Marxist Ethics, Brill, 2015.

“Whose Powers? Which Agency?” in (eds., Ruth Groff and John Greco) Powers and Capacities in Philosophy: The New Aristotelianism, Routledge, 2012; pp. 207-227. 

“Aristotelian Marxism/Marxist Aristotelianism: MacIntyre, Marx and the Analysis of Abstraction,” Philosophy & Social Criticism, October 2012, Vol. 38, pp. 775-792. 

“Getting Past Hume in the Philosophy of Social Science,” in (eds., McKay, Russo and Williamson) Causality in the Sciences, Oxford University Press, 2011; pp. 296-316.

Professional Organizations and Associations

  • Coordinator and founding member of the Critical Social Ontology Workshop (CSOW), an international multi-disciplinary academic association. CSOW holds an annual conference.
  • Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Aristotelian Studies and Critical Theory.
  • Member of Extended Research Network, Dynamis: The Finnish Network for Metaphysics.