In What’s Left of Philosophy Gil Morejón (@gdmorejon), Lillian Cicerchia (@lilcicerch), Owen Glyn-Williams (@oglynwil), and William Paris (@williammparis) discuss philosophy’s radical histories and contemporary political theory. Philosophy isn't dead, but what's left? Support us at patreon.com/leftofphilosophy
In this episode, we welcome Professor Melvin Rogers of Brown University to discuss his forthcoming book The Darkened Light of Faith: Race, Democracy, and Freedom in African American Political Thought. We focus on the often elided importance of character in social struggle and transformation, the tension between optimism and pessimism in African American political thought, and the centrality of rhetoric and persuasion in this tradition. It is not to be missed!
In this episode we are joined by Joel Michael Reynolds for a wide-ranging discussion about disability theory. We dig into the relationship between disability and white supremacy, the idea of politics as differential capacitation, genomics and medicalization, justice as equity, and more. Naturally we put full-bore social constructivism on blast. Leftists gotta be materialists, you know?
In this episode we are joined by Professor Robin Celikates to discuss the big “method” question in critical theory: What is it doing, and why? Since Marx, this tradition has had a special connection to emancipatory struggles, so we talk about how that works (or doesn’t) in relation to contemporary debates about civil disobedience and migration.
For this episode we discuss David Walker’s 1830 radical anti-slavery tract An Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World and Melvin Rogers’s 2015 article “David Walker and the Political Power of the Appeal.” We explore Walker’s political philosophy of judgment and its relationship to normativity, solidarity, and reconstructing civic society. Walker offers an insightful critique of the insidious pathologies race introduces into Western political formations...
In this episode we talk through the work of one of the most infamous figures in the history of political thought, Niccolò Machiavelli. Looking both at the Prince and some passages from the Discourses, we ask ourselves what the Florentine can teach us about strategy, the need for vision and flexibility, and the virtues of leaders and citizens in a world of duplicity and chance...
In this episode we finally get around to talking about Spinoza. It turns out normativity is kind of complicated when you think everything is strictly determined and there’s no such thing as contingency! We discuss the relationship between affect and power, the inherently social nature of knowledge, and why you should want joy for others as much as for yourself. Along the way we also manage to work in a needless and slanderous dig against Heidegger, just for good measure.
In this Patron exclusive episode, we move to the third part of our mini-series “What is Dialectics?” and take on the works of Karl Marx. The WLOP crew investigates what Marx took and rejected from Hegelian dialectics while defending why Marx remains deeply relevant in our contemporary moment. We cover the role of mystification under capitalism, Marx’s moral and political critique of value, and the future of Marxism in the context of ecological crisis...
In this episode, we discuss Erik Olin Wright’s 2010 book Envisioning Real Utopias. We excavate the relationship between social scientific investigation and normative claims concerning how we ought to structure our society. We ask what a theory of social transformation ought to entail and figure out why we don’t live in the best of all possible worlds yet. So sit back and relax while we pour one out for a real one: Comrade Erik Olin Wright.
In this episode, we continue our series on dialectics by completely losing our minds talking about Hegel. We break through Kant’s critical prohibition on speculative metaphysics and grasp the in-itself as the movement of dialectical negativity. We realize the unity of opposites. We are seized by the necessity of the absolute Idea in history. It’s a banger, folks. In retrospect, it couldn’t have been any other way.
In this episode, we go back to the seventeenth century to talk about Thomas Hobbes’ hugely influential political philosophy. Focusing mostly on De Cive, we dive into his hilariously bleak anthropology, his totalitarian absolutism, and his uncomfortable fit within the modern tradition of political liberalism. But things are a little more complicated than they first appear: maybe old Bishop Bramhall was right when he said that Hobbes’ ideas are ‘a rebel’s catechism’.