Facing the Present in Political Philosophy

Lead Research Organisation: University of Essex
Department Name: School of Philosophy and Art History


This project analyzes the contribution political philosophy (PP) can offer today for understanding the present - conceived as "a philosophical event to which the philosopher who speaks of it belongs" (Foucault 2010). Chapter 1 analyzes neoliberal academia, where most of philosophicalpolitical thought is today produced, and asks whether and how it conditions political philosophers as cognitive workers. Chapter 2 deals with Analytic PP as the currently dominant strand within the subject, questioning the ways in which itrelates to the philosophical event of the present. Chapter 3 problematizes the distinction between PP and political theory, arguing that it has negative implications for both - allowing political philosophers to neglect the present as a philosophical issue and political theorists to focus on the present while putting its philosophical implications aside. Chapter 4 tries to reaffirm the value of PP as an instance of critique and parrhesia (truth-telling), through a reading of the Foucault's understanding of these concepts. Chapter 5 asks whether PP as a critique of the present and parrhesia can be pursued in the context of neoliberal academia.


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