Open main menu

Nicholas St. John Green (March 30, 1830 – September 8, 1876) is an American philosopher and lawyer, one of the members of The Metaphysical Club. Green is known for his contributions in the field of law as well as his involvement in the formation of pragmatism. He has been named as the “grandfather of pragmatism” by Charles Peirce.[1]


Early lifeEdit

Nicholas St. John Green, born March 30, 1830 in Dover, New Hampshire was a son of a Unitarian minister, James D. Green. Green earned the title of Bachelor of Arts on the Harvard University in 1851. After earning his law degree in 1861 he was a paymaster during the course of the Civil War.[1]


After the war Nicholas St. John Green published some of his articles in American Law Review, which allowed him to become a lecturer at the Harvard University in 1870. Three years later he was given a position of professor of law at the University of Boston, which he accepted. While in Boston, he was also serving as the Acting Dean at the university.[1][2] Green's notable work includes the notion of multiple causes for every event, an idea which stood in opposition to the then widely accepted notion of single chain of causation.[2]


Nicholas St. John Green died on September 8, 1876 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Selected worksEdit


  • St. John Green, Nicholas (1879). Criminal Law Reports: Being Reports of Cases Determined in the Federal and State Courts of the United States, and in the Courts of England, Ireland, Canada, Etc. with Notes, Volume 2. New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1874-1875. OCLC 22125148. Details.
  • St. John Green, Nicholas (1933). Essays and notes on the law of tort and crime. Menasha, Wisconsin: George Banta Publishing Co. OCLC 1599039.

Journal articlesEdit


  1. ^ a b c Shook, John R., Dictionary Of Modern American Philosophers, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005, p. 973
  2. ^ a b