"Radical simply means 'grasping things at the root'"
I am a social/political philosopher and ethicist who focuses on social justice issues particularly as they relate to race and class. My approach to philosophy is one of destruction and creation. In this dialectical approach, “destruction” refers to critique. It is futile to talk about “the good life” or an ideal “life worth living” if we can’t all access such a life. So, part of my research involves identifying the avoidable barriers that prevent us from flourishing (i.e., racism, poverty, poor health, and environmental devastation) and destroying/critiquing the ideas, habits, and social structures that perpetuate such barriers. But creation is just as important as destruction, so along with critiquing existing barriers, I also write about what another world could look like. In general, I am interested in finding the connections between the social/political, and unavoidably ethical, issues that are typically dealt with in isolation (like separate categories of applied ethics). I call this a ‘methodology of solidarity’ or a ‘rhizomatic method’. It is the recognition that true liberation and “the good life” can only be achieved when we “connect the dots” – when we see, for instance, how issues of public health relate to racism, how racism is influenced by the political economy, how inequality arose from capitalism & colonialism, how colonial logics contribute to environmental degradation, etc. My ultimate goal is to answer the question: how can we ensure the wellbeing of all humans along with the natural and political ecosystems we call home?
(Re)Membering Our Self: Organicism as the Foundation of a New Political Economy
My current research involves understanding how human ontology grounds and informs normative political theories. In other words, the way we understand our existence as humans (and our place within the rest of nature) informs how we set up our political and economic structures. Critical of "entitlement theory", which I believe relies on a misguided conception of human ontology, I construct a concept that I call, "organicism" as an ontological basis for reinforcing the importance of a community-centered political economy, and for shifting to a "we" rather than "me" based morality. "Organicism" reorients focus to the human body and its needs rather than the popular abstract philosophical concept of an ahistorical autonomous individual. So health (broadly speaking) and "flourishing" becomes a primary political goal as it is the prerequisite for autonomous subjectivity (a necessary element of democracy).
“Hate Speech as Antithetical to Free Speech:
The Real Polarity”
In Politics Polarity and Peace, edited by Jennifer Kling and William Barnes. (Brill: Leiden, Netherlands)
I claim that hate speech is actually antithetical to free speech. Nevertheless, this claim invokes the misconception that one would be jeopardizing free speech due to a phenomenon known as "false polarization" – a “tendency for disputants to overestimate the extent to which they disagree about whatever contested question is at hand.” The real polarity does not lie between hate speech (as protected free speech) vs. censorship. Rather, hate speech is censorship. It is the censorship of entire sectors of the population, a violation of their right to be heard, and at worse, an incitement to their extinction. The liberal attempt to try to fit the metaphorical round peg of hate speech into the square hole of free speech is impossible without revealing one’s reluctance to endow people of color, the LGBTQ community, women, and other socially oppressed groups as equal and deserving of full human dignity. I start by providing a clear definition of "hate speech", then I remind the reader of the original/historical political intent of the freedom of expression, and finally I illuminate the very real physical, psychological and social consequences of hate speech.
Understanding the Legitimacy of Movement: The Nomadism of Gitanos (Spanish Roma) and Conquistadors
In Essays in Philosophy, special issue: "Migration and Mobility" vol.22, no.1. 2021
While Spain was conquering new lands in the Americas, foreigners arrived into their own – the Gitanos. Spain imposed a double-standard whereby their crossing into new, occupied, territory was legitimate, but the entry of others into Spanish territory was not. I compare and contrast these historically parallel movements of people using Deleuze and Guattari’s taxonomy of movement (what they refer to as nomadology). I conclude that the double-standard of movement was due to differences of power between these two groups, understood in terms of material conditions, a prototypical “racial contract”, and differences in the relationship to land and space. This history and analysis of colonial Spain is a critical start for Latin American postcolonial theory; it gives us a framework to study philosophies of migration and nomadism; and finally, it introduces the Gitanos (and Roma in general) as an important population to complicate critical race theory or theories of ethnicity.
A Review of "Information Politics: Liberation and Exploitation in the Digital Society" by Tim Jordan
(Pluto Press: London, 2015)
In Contrivers' Review
Information Politics foregrounds the importance of viewing data flows and ownership as central political questions today. Through the thought of Gilles Deleuze, Tim Jordan discusses the effects of data compounding and recursion. In a world where data is power, who controls data today?