publications

PDFs of many of my publications are available in the PhilArchive, which you can access via my PhilPeople publications page. Book reviews and translations are not listed below, but can be found on my CV. If you cannot find a publication and would like a copy, feel free to email me.

 

Accepted for publication.“From Word to Flesh: Embodied Racism and the New Politics” in Journal of Religion and Society.

This article stems from my presentation at the 2020 Symposium of the Kripke Center for the Study of Religion and Society, whose theme was “Religion and the New Politics.” The article is written for an interdisciplinary audience. Drawing on resources from the philosophical tradition of phenomenology and putting them into dialogue with an important theme in Christian theology, I argue that there is a distinctly non-discursive, embodied form of racism that should be recognized and addressed by the new politics. Because this form of racism occurs not at the familiar level of discourse (word), but in the often unconscious habitualities of the lived body (flesh), it resists common antiracist strategies, and seems to be outside the purview of responsibility and of willful, rational change (the logos). I situate these underlying issues with regard to the traditional opposition between mind and body, and then offer a reinterpretation of them by way of some key phenomenological concepts: intentionality, the lived body, the critique of scientism, motivation, and empathy. I conclude that embodied racism is something which is open to an extended conception of rationality that includes the lived body, and for which we are responsible. I then suggest some antiracist political strategies that put these theoretical considerations to use through attention to embodied spaces and practices.

 

Forthcoming. “Husserlian Phenomenology, Rule-following, and Primitive Normativity” in Language and Phenomenology, Ed. C. Engelland. New York: Routledge.

The volume will appear in the Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy series. From the publisher’s blurb: “This collection of essays by leading scholars articulates the distinctively phenomenological contribution to language… will be of interest to scholars of phenomenology and philosophy of language.” My paper presents a phenomenological response to the rule-following paradox and related debates about normativity in contemporary philosophy of language.

 

Forthcoming. “Reduction and Reflection after the Analytic-Continental Divide.” in The Husserlian Mind, Ed. H. Jacobs. New York: Routledge.

The volume will appear in the popular Routledge Philosophical Minds series. My chapter explicates one of the most important technical concepts in Husserl’s philosophy, the phenomenological reduction, explains its relationship to Husserl’s conception of philosophical reflection, and shows how these considerations are relevant for a variety of areas of philosophical debate in the contemporary period in which the schism between analytic and Continental philosophy appears to be waning.

 

Forthcoming. “Synthesis” in The Routledge Handbook of Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy, Ed. De Santis, Hopkins, and Majolino. New York: Routledge, 376-88.

The volume offers individual chapters on important historical and systematic topics in phenomenology. My chapter discusses the concept of “synthesis” in phenomenology, relating it to earlier uses of the concept in Aristotle and Kant, mapping out and explaining its various technical dimensions in the phenomenology of Husserl, and explaining how the concept was taken up and modified in Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty.

 

2019. “Not How the World is, but That It Exists: Wittgenstein on the Mystical and the Meaningful,” in Mysticism and Meaning: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, Ed. A. Kohav. University of Hawai’i/ Three Pines Press, 177-98.

This essay explains the role of mysticism in Wittgenstein’s early philosophy of logic and language for a non-specialist audience, situating Wittgenstein’s views in the context of contemporaries such as Aldous Huxley. William James, Bertrand Russell, and Paul Tillich.

  

2018. “On the Use and Abuse of Teleology for Life: Intentionality, Naturalism, and Meaning Rationalism in Husserl and Millikan,” Humana.Mente: Journal of Philosophical Studies, Vol. 34, 41-75.

This paper offers a phenomenological critique of Ruth Millikan’s highly influential evolutionary-biological account of teleology and human language use. I argue that the role of teleology in human meaning-making can be understood naturalistically only if we broaden our conception of natural life to encompass something much richer than can be explicated in terms of evolutionary adaptation and survival.

 

2018. “Meaning, Experience, and the Modern Self: The Phenomenology of Spontaneous Sense in Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway,Metodo: International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy, 6 (1), 317-55.

This paper uses the phenomenological concept of “spontaneous sense formation” as popularized by the Francophone philosophers Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Marc Richir as a lens for interpreting Woolf’s modernist masterpiece, and thereby, for explicating the modernist conception of the fractured or fragmented self.

 

2018. “Making Sense of the Lived Body and the Lived World: Meaning and Presence in Husserl, Derrida and Noë,” Continental Philosophy Review, 51 (2), 141-67.

This paper discusses the role of the lived body in Husserl’s philosophy, in light of important criticisms in the work of Jacques Derrida, and shows how Husserl’s philosophy relates to and in some way improves upon the “sensorimotor enactivist” theory of contemporary philosopher of cognitive science Alva Noë. 

 

2017. “The Epistemic Import of Affectivity: A Husserlian Account” Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. 41, 82-104.

This paper was invited for the 2017 volume, on The Phenomenology of Affective Life. I argue that, on Husserl’s account, affectivity, along with the closely related phenomenon of association, follows a form of sui generis lawfulness belonging to the domain of what phenomenologists call motivation, which must be distinguished both (1) from the causal structures through which we understand the body third-personally, as a material thing; and also (2) from the rational or inferential structures at the level of deliberative judgment traditionally understood to be the domain of epistemic import. For Husserl, affectivity holds a kind of indirect epistemic import via its determination not of content is but of how content comes to matter for us.

 

2016. “History as Soil and Sediment: Geological Tropes of Historicity in Heidegger, Husserl, and Merleau-Ponty,” Danish Yearbook of Philosophy, Vol. 48-49, 139-52.

This paper examines the use of geological tropes (sand, soil, sediment, etc.) in phenomenological thinkers as a way of discussing some defining characteristics of phenomenological approaches to the philosophy of history. 

 

2016. “Phenomenology, Historical Significance, and the Limits of Representation: Perspectives on Carr’s Experience and History,” Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, 37 (2), 401-26.

This is a critical notice engaging David Carr’s book Experience and History: Phenomenological Perspectives on the Historical World (Oxford University Press, 2014).

2014. “Kant, Husserl, and the Case for Non-conceptual Content,” in Husserl and Classical German Philosophy, Ed. F. Fabbianelli and S. Luft. Dordrecht: Springer.

This paper situates recent debates in analytic philosophy about the nature of non-conceptual content in the context of Kantian epistemology and Husserlian epistemology. The volume appears in Springer’s highly regarded Phaenomenologica series.

 

2014. “Knowledge, Temporality, and the Movement of History,” Research in Phenomenology, 44 (3), 441-52.

This is a critical notice engaging Søren Olesen’s book Transcendental History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). 

 

2011. “The Transcendental ‘Foundation’ of Meaning in Experience: A Reading of Wittgenstein’s On Certainty,” in Epistemology: Contexts, Values, Disagreement: Contributions of the Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, Vol. XIX. Ed. C. Jäger and W. Löffler. 251-53.

This is the published version of my presentation at the 2011 International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium.

 

2011.Lévi-Strauss, Barthes, and the ‘Structuralist Activity’ of Sartre’s Dialectical Reason,” Sartre Studies International, 17 (2), 1-15.

This paper examines Lévi-Strauss’ criticisms of Sartre’s conception of dialectical reason and history as presented in the last chapter of La Pensée Sauvage, and argues that Sartre’s notion of reason and history in the Critique of Dialectical Reason is much closer to structuralist accounts than Lévi-Strauss seems to recognize. The active role of the inquirer in structuralist thought is examined using Roland Barthes’ account of “The Structuralist Activity,” which is shown to have important affinities with Sartre’s own conception of the relation of structure and praxis in the Critique.