•  82
    This essay reconsiders Foucault’s writings on the Iranian Revolution in the context of his thought during 1977-1979. The essay defends three related claims: (1) Foucault does not turn away from power toward ethics as many scholars have claimed, (2) Careful interpretation of the texts on the Iranian Revolution will help us to better understand Foucault’s essays and lecture courses from this period (in particular, the relationship between political spirituality and counter-conduct), and (3) During…Read more
  •  66
    Commentators often construe Foucault as an anti-Enlightenment thinker; much of this criticism assumes that Foucault inherits early German Romanticism in some sense. This essay examines these claims by assessing the role the German Romantics play in Foucault’s work, both early and late. After a brief consideration of the meaning of the term “Romanticism,” the essay examines the role that language and literature plays in Foucault early texts before examining the place of self-formation or Bildung …Read more
  •  64
    The art of life: Foucault's reading of baudelaire's "the painter of modern life"
    Journal of Speculative Philosophy 24 (2): 138-157. 2010.
    In his essay "What Is Enlightenment?" Foucault compares the role of modernity in the work of the decadent Parisian poet Charles Baudelaire with that of the austere Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant. He claims that the relationship between these two strange bedfellows can be found in the value each writer accords to the present in contrast to the past and future. Each writer claims, in his own style, that each individual must render his or her existence meaningful by cultivating what Foucault ca…Read more
  •  46
    This essay assesses the prescience of Benjamin’s “Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” by examining its conclusions in light of the Global War on Terror. Following an initial section in which I provide a brief overview of Benjamin’s essay and revisit its conclusion, I proceed to analyze the various ways that Bush administration officials claimed that they could remake the world in America’s image. The key question at stake in this paper is whether Benjamin’s analyses still prove us…Read more
  •  37
    Foucault, Iran, and the Question of Religious Revolt
    International Studies in Philosophy 40 (1): 89-100. 2008.
  •  21
    Foucault, Politics, and Violence
    Comparative and Continental Philosophy 5 (2): 199-211. 2013.
    Oksala’s book is the latest in a series of attempts to examine Foucault’s work during the late 1970s. We can delineate two clear trends in recent Foucault scholarship on this period: the first trend provides analyses and evaluations of this period while asecond trend attempts to apply Foucault’s analyses of these key concepts to contemporary society. Oksala’s book attempts to do both, although if forced to choose one would have to place it more firmly in the first camp than the second. According…Read more
  •  13
    Rituals of Conduct and Conter-Conduct
    Foucault Studies 21 52-79. 2016.
    This essay provides an account of the role of ritual in governmentality through an analysis of key texts during the period roughly from 1973 through 1981. I claim that ritual plays an essential role in Foucault’s analysis of juridical forms and sovereign power as well as conduct and counter-conduct understood as features of governmentality and political rationality.
  •  12
    "Caine's Stake": Aimé Césaire, Emmett Till, and the Work of Acknowledgment
    Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 28 (2). 2020.
    Our reasons for avoiding death are manifold, encompassing among others, motives that are personal, political, and historical. Still, are there ways that we might use words to overcome these common everyday aversions to death and the dead through another modality of language, that of poetry for example? Can the poetic word get us to acknowledge the particulars of death despite the various reasons we have to disavow it? Might we use language not simply grasp death abstractly but instead to realize…Read more
  •  9
    Review of John T. Lysaker, Emerson and Self-Culture (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (11). 2008.
  •  8
    Melville Among the Philosophers (edited book)
    with Tom Nurmi
    Lexington Books. 2017.
    This book is aimed at both philosophers and scholars of American literature who wish to reexamine the philosophical depth of Melville’s writings. Contributions deal with various philosophical aspects of Melville’s work, including well-known texts such as Moby-Dick as well as lesser-known works such as Pierre, “The Encantadas,” and Clarel.
  •  6
  •  5
    Reconsidering Nietzsche and Politics
    Comparative and Continental Philosophy 12 (3): 254-260. 2020.
    ABSTRACT A review of two distinctive yet, in the end, complementary approaches to reviving Nietzsche as a political thinker beyond his early reception as a prophet of National Socialism or subsequently as an apolitical thinker.
  •  3
    John Dewey and James Baldwin on History, Tragedy, and the Forgetting of Race
    Journal of the Philosophy of History 13 (3): 343-362. 2019.
    This essay examines various intellectual affinities between Dewey and Baldwin, including their pragmatic and tragic conceptions of history. I argue in the first section that Dewey’s attention to the precarious dimensions of experience and his critique of dominant modes of inquiry that prioritize the stable over the precarious pay insufficient attention to race, though this focus on the precarious over the stable aspects of experience is enough to show that pragmatism does acknowledge the tragic …Read more
  •  2
    Whose Public? The Stakes of Citizens United
    In David Boonin, Katrina L. Sifferd, Tyler K. Fagan, Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Michael Huemer, Daniel Wodak, Derk Pereboom, Stephen J. Morse, Sarah Tyson, Mark Zelcer, Garrett VanPelt, Devin Casey, Philip E. Devine, David K. Chan, Maarten Boudry, Christopher Freiman, Hrishikesh Joshi, Shelley Wilcox, Jason Brennan, Eric Wiland, Ryan Muldoon, Mark Alfano, Philip Robichaud, Kevin Timpe, David Livingstone Smith, Francis J. Beckwith, Dan Hooley, Russell Blackford, John Corvino, Corey McCall, Dan Demetriou, Ajume Wingo, Michael Shermer, Ole Martin Moen, Aksel Braanen Sterri, Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Jeppe von Platz, John Thrasher, Mary Hawkesworth, William MacAskill, Daniel Halliday, Janine O’Flynn, Yoaav Isaacs, Jason Iuliano, Claire Pickard, Arvin M. Gouw, Tina Rulli, Justin Caouette, Allen Habib, Brian D. Earp, Andrew Vierra, Subrena E. Smith, Danielle M. Wenner, Lisa Diependaele, Sigrid Sterckx, G. Owen Schaefer, Markus K. Labude, Harisan Unais Nasir, Udo Schuklenk, Benjamin Zolf & Woolwine (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy, Springer Verlag. pp. 329-339. 2018.
    Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is a 2010 US Supreme Court decision that fundamentally transformed federal election financing. As a result, we have seen a drastic increase in the amount of so-called soft money that wealthy individuals and corporations contribute to political campaigns. Following a brief overview of the case and the precedent that formed the basis for the ruling, this chapter concerns philosophical stakes of the decision and what precisely it says about the public …Read more
  •  1
    Decolonizing American Philosophy (edited book)
    SUNY Press. 2020.
    Wide-ranging examination of American philosophy's ties to settler colonialism and its role as both an object and a force of decolonization.
  •  1
    Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism
    Contemporary Political Theory 1-4. forthcoming.
  •  1
    This essay reconstructs James Bernauer’s reading of Foucault’s critique of psychoanalysis in his essay “Oedipus, Freud, Foucault” in order to assess the role that Foucault’s critique of psychoanaly...
  • Autonomy, religion, & revolt in Foucault
    Journal of Philosophy and Scripture 2 (1): 7-14. 2004.