James Griffith portrait

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.

My areas of specialization are early modern philosophy and continental philosophy and my areas of competence
are political philosophy, ancient Greek philosophy, and critical thinking.
I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Philosophy at DePaul University and my MA from the Department of Philosophy at The New School for Social Research.

The focus of my research is on the role of the fabular in early modern thought. Taking interpretive tools from the post-World War II French tradition and their influences, I examine how literary techniques used by early modern philosophers reveal aspects of their thought that runs counter to traditional understandings.

My book Fable, Method, and Imagination in Descartes (Palgrave, 2018) is one aspect of this project.
Currently, I am working on a second book, Hobbes’s Maternal Legacy: An Essay on Original Dominion and Primogeniture in De Cive and Leviathan, that takes up the mother as a hauntological figure for both the state of nature and commonwealth.

I am also currently working on a series of articles on Judith Butler’s notion of primary vulnerability, comparing it with related concepts in Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Thomas Hobbes, Jacques Lacan, and Jean-Luc Nancy. One of these essays was published in Identities in Flux: Globalisation, Trauma, and Reconciliation, edited by Dagmar Kusá (Kritika & Kontext, 2018), and a second is forthcoming.

Prior to METU, I was the Assistant Professor of Political Thought and Philosophy at the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts in Slovakia.
I was a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago. I have also taught in the Philosophy Program
of the Catholic Theological Union, also in Chicago, and in the Department of Philosophy at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, NY

Upcoming Events and Publications


“Les Trois Modes de domination et la Mère dans De Cive and Leviathan,” in Hobbes: droit de domination et droit de résistance (Vrin)

“Fantasy, Counter-fantasy, and Meta-fantasy in Hobbes and Butler’s Accounts of Vulnerability,” Philosophy Today


Recent Events and Publications


Co-editor, with Dagmar Kusá, Demos vs. Polis? Essays on Civic Responsibility and Participation (Kritika & Kontext, 2019)

Demos, Polis, Versus,” in Demos vs. Polis? Essays on Civic Responsibility and Participation (Kritika & Kontext, 2019)   

with Dagmar Kusá, “1989 in Czechoslovakia through Arendt’s Eyes: An Immodern Non-revolution,” Sociološki Pregled 53:3 (2019), DOI: 10.5937/socpreg53-23061

Thinking Descartes in Conjunction, with Merleau-Ponty: The Human Body, the Future, and Historicity,” Filozofia 74:2 (2019), DOI: 10.31577/filozofia.2019.74.2.3

A Cartesian Rereading of Badiou’s Political Subjectivity,” Philosophy Today 63:1 (2019), DOI: 10.5840/philtoday201925244


Deforming the Malformed: Physical and Mental Space in Descartes,” Copia and Copiousness: Circuitous Articulations that Matter. Sophistication Conference #3, Department for Architecture Theory and Philosophy of Technics, Technische Universität Wien, November 14-16, 2019

“Primogeniture in Leviathan and the Shift from Sovereignty to Governmentality,” The Political Thought of Hobbes.
The Hobbes Scholars International Association at the Dipartimento di Filosofia of the Università di Roma La Sapienza, June 6-7, 2019.

with Dagmar Kusá, “The Revolution that Was Never to Have Happened: Post-1989 Central European Legislative Design, an Arendtian Reading.” XV. ročník Bratislasvkých filozofických dní—medzinárodný vedecký workshop FiÚ SAV a BISLA in Modra, Slovakia, May 13-14, 2019.

James Griffith©2020
E-mail: jg@jamesgriffith.eu

Illustrations: Pixabay. Design and Layout: Katalin Nun Stewart