Oxford, Mississippi, United States of America
  •  15
    Rethinking Spontaneism: Rosa Luxemburg, Skilful Expertise, and the Politics of Habit
    Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 55 (1): 12-27. 2023.
    Rosa Luxemburg defended a view of spontaneism as a way of according strategic priority to popular initiatives over the directives of vanguard parties. But she never worked out a theory of spontaneism, and consequently it has typically been dismissed as lacking solid grounds. In this paper, I take an initial step toward rehabilitating spontaneism by rethinking its assumptions concerning historical agency in embodied habitual terms. After first outlining Luxemburg’s view of spontaneism itself, I c…Read more
  •  17
    Critical Phenomenology and the Mythopoetics of Nature
    Journal of Speculative Philosophy 37 (3): 381-392. 2023.
    ABSTRACT The idea of “critical phenomenology” is premised on the belief that there is a radically critical political impetus intrinsic to phenomenology as such. This belief is sound, but its grounds are unclear. This article clarifies the sense of critical phenomenology by showing how it is based in the methodological need for a generative apprehension of nature as the outermost horizon of experience, that this horizon is pregiven in the mythic Urdoxa of the lifeworld, and that critical phenomen…Read more
  •  13
    In this essay, I consider the significance of Daniel Bensaïd’s work on Jeanne d’Arc with regard to dealing with the “difficult times” in which we live. (1) I first consider some of the background in early critical theory in order to show that Bensaïd’s aim to recover Benjamin’s notion of a “weak messianic power” requires following through with Horkheimer and Adorno’s critique of enlightenment, and that this implies a critical rehabilitation of myth and mythopoesis. (2) Approaching Bensaïd’s acco…Read more
  •  10
    Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception - a canonical text of twentieth-century philosophy - concludes with an appeal to 'heroism' by citing a series of enigmatic sentences drawn from Saint-Exupe;ry's Pilote de guerre. Surprisingly, however, these lines are antithetical to the philosophical thrust of Merleau-Ponty's project. This book aims to explain this situation. Foregrounding liminal themes in Merleau-Ponty's thought that have been largely overlooked - e.g., sacrifice, death, myth, faith…Read more
  •  12
    Mythopoetic naturalization
    Metodo. International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy 9 (2): 469-500. 2021.
    This paper sketches a new approach to the critical-theoretic problem of reification understood as a normatively problematic form of naturalizing or dehistoricizing entifcation. Entifcation in general is approached phenomenologically in terms of the mythic outer horizonality of the lifeworld, and reification is shown to stem from the dichotomy between nature and history which, along with a corresponding dichotomy between myth and reason, is characteristic of Enlightenment rationality. Dereificati…Read more
  •  2
    Merleau-Ponty's Developmental Ontology by David Morris
    Review of Metaphysics 73 (4): 852-854. 2020.
  •  9
    This volume examines various points of contact between Marxism and phenomenology. Although these traditions can appear conceptually incompatible, the contributors reveal productive complementarities on themes such as alienation, reification, and ecology, which illuminate and can help to resolve the crises of contemporary capitalism.
  •  14
    Problems of Yesterday and Today
    Chiasmi International 22 41-49. 2020.
  •  23
    De-Moralizing Heroism
    Southwest Philosophy Review 36 (1): 65-74. 2020.
    Agents’ self-reports in cases of reactive heroism often deny the optionality, and hence the supererogatory status, of their actions, while conversely supporting a view of these actions in terms of nonselfsacrificial existential necessity. Taking such claims seriously thus makes it puzzling as to why such cases elicit strong approbation. To resolve this puzzle, I show how this necessity can be understood in the predispositional embodied terms of unreflective ethical expertise, such that the agent…Read more
  •  9
    Merleau-Ponty and the Art of Perception (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 72 (1): 130-132. 2018.
  •  36
    Most self-reports of heroic action in both reactive and social (proactive) cases describe the experience as involving a kind of necessity. This seems intuitively sound, but it makes it unclear why heroism is accorded strong approbation. To resolve this, I show that the necessity involved in heroism is a nonselfsacrificial practical necessity. (1) Approaching the intentional structure of human action from the perspective of embodiment, focusing especially on the predispositionality of pre-reflect…Read more
  •  38
    The Meontic and the Militant: On Merleau-Ponty’s Relation to Fink∗
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (5): 669-699. 2011.
    This paper clarifies the relationship between Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception and Fink’s Sixth Cartesian Meditation with regard to ‘the idea of a transcendental theory of method’. Although Fink’s text played a singularly important role in the development of Merleau-Ponty’s postwar thought, contrary to recent claims made by Ronald Bruzina this influence was not positive. Reconstructing the basic methodological claims of each text, in particular with regard to the being of the phenomen…Read more
  •  21
    Merleau-Ponty and the Myth of Human Incarnation
    Journal of Speculative Philosophy 30 (3): 382-394. 2016.
    In this article I will argue that Merleau-Ponty’s reinterpretation of Husserlian phenomenology—in particular as this was initially worked out in Phenomenology of Perception1—is premised methodologically on a certain mythic view of nature and of human embodiment in particular. I will claim, in other words, that the corporeal turn that is central to the philosophical attractiveness of Merleau-Pontian phenomenology rests upon a myth. Within the constraints of this short article, I will explain how …Read more
  •  10
    Generating Sense: Schizophrenia and Phenomenological Praxis
    Schutzian Research. A Yearbook of Worldly Phenomenology and Qualitative Social Science 3 (n/a): 121-132. 2011.
    The aim of phenomenology is to provide a critical account of the origins and genesis of the world. This implies that the standpoint of the phenomenologicalreduction is properly extramundane. But it remains an outstanding task to formulate a credible account of the reduction that would be adequate to this seemingly impossible methodological condition. This paper contributes to rethinking the reduction accordingly. Building on efforts to thematize its intersubjective and corporeal aspects, the red…Read more
  •  31
    Riassunto: Sulla falsita della “falsa coscienza”
    Chiasmi International 9 146-146. 2007.
  •  33
    The primacy question in Merleau-Ponty’s existential phenomenology
    Continental Philosophy Review 50 (1): 127-149. 2016.
    This paper takes up the question as to what has primacy within Merleau-Ponty’s existential phenomenology as a way to provide insight into the relation between empirical science and transcendental philosophy within his account of embodiment. Contending that this primacy necessarily pertains to methodology, I show how Kurt Goldstein’s conception of biology provided Merleau-Ponty with a scientific model for approaching human existence holistically in which primacy pertains to the transcendental pra…Read more
  •  73
    Michael J. Thompson, ed., Georg Lukács Reconsidered: Critical Essays in Politics, Philosophy and Aesthetics, Review by Bryan Smyth (review)
    Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy/Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale 16 (2): 274-280. 2012.
  •  510
    Heroism and history in Merleau-Ponty’s existential phenomenology
    Continental Philosophy Review 43 (2): 167-191. 2010.
    Whereas Phenomenology of Perception concludes with a puzzling turn to “heroism,” this article examines the short essay “Man, the Hero” as a source of insight into Merleau-Ponty’s thought in the early postwar period. In this essay, Merleau-Ponty presented a conception of heroism through which he expressed the attitude toward post-Hegelian philosophy of history that underwrote his efforts to reform Marxism along existential lines. Analyzing this conception of heroism by unpacking the implicit cont…Read more
  •  28
    Desire and Distance
    Symposium 11 (1): 188-193. 2007.