“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realization of Utopias.”
My work lies within social and political philosophy, and in particular, I am interested in the concept of human flourishing and uncovering or constructing paths to a flourishing society, no matter how “utopian” it may seem. Right now, my work centers around constructing an ontological foundation for normative political theory. My hope is that with such a foundation, we can effectively judge the morality of certain ways of arranging our political and economic structures based on a set of core ontological features of the human being. In another avenue of my research, I analyze the marginal identities that complicate the concept of racial essentialism, such as “mixed races” and the idea of “liminal identities” – those that do not fall neatly within racial categories, and/or racial categories that morph across time and space. Finally, in a way that pulls from both of these aforementioned lines of research, I also write about the moral and political perspectives that are expressed aesthetically/artistically from the outcasts and counter-cultures of society. Taking these forms of expression seriously is important because liberation from hegemonic structures begins in the ideas from the periphery.
(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).
"Punk Consciousness and Class Consciousness"
In Punk Rock and Philosophy, ed. Josh Heter and Richard Greene.
(Chicago: Open Universe, 2022), 183-192.
“Hate Speech as Antithetical to Free Speech: The Real Polarity”
In Politics Polarity and Peace, ed. 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/marginalized groups as equal and deserving of full human dignity. I start by providing a clear definition of "hate speech", then rehash the historical political intent of the "freedom of expression" within the US, and finally I illuminate the very concrete 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.
Recursion and Politics
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?