My current areas of research

Daniel Avatar

I recently gave a presentation to a group called Subset of Theoretical Practice, a collective that organizes research in philosophy, leftist political economic analysis and political organization all under a common theoretical framework. I am a new member of this organization, and I highly recommend you check them out and consider joining their weekly Monday meetings where research projects are presented from members of this group and others.

This was a really helpful opportunity for me to take a step back and survey the main areas of my research from a bird’s-eye view. You can watch my presentation here and below I provide an overview of the main subjects of my current research.

Psychoanalysis and politics: what is the historical and political basis of psychoanalytic concepts and the use of psychoanalytic methods for political struggle?

  • What can psychoanalysis offer, practically speaking, to militant and socialist political struggles today?
  • How do we theorize the subjective basis of authority, subjection, and freedom with the aid of psychoanalytic conceptual tools?

Worldview Marxism and its vicissitudes: whither the class struggle today? How is the idea of revolution in our time to be thought and why have Marxists abandoned class analysis in philosophy?

  • For a clear breakdown of this line of inquiry please see my latest article for Cosmonaut Magazine on Lukács and Worldview Marxism.
  • This area of research also entails an investigation into the nexus of Bourdieuist analysis of working class as a field/habitus vs. Marxist analysis of working class and investigation into the lumpenproletariat as a political force and agent in today’s political struggles.

The family, social reproduction debates and the legacy of anti-Oedipal politics:

  • My new book on the family Psychoanalysis and the Politics of the Family: The Crisis of Initiation with the Palgrave Lacan Series opens a number of debates around the subjective crises of the family, Oedipus, and the superego.
  • I will post a separate overview of this work but the table of contents will give you a clearer idea of the thrust of this project. Reach out to me if you are interested in receiving a review copy of this book.

Revisiting ideology critique today:

  • How can we begin to think the Zizekian theory of ideology as fetishist disavowal to a theory of ideology that is more in line with a Lukácsian theory of ideology wherein the social being and worldview is more centered? How can a more purposive theory of consciousness-as-ideology be put forward today that overcomes some of the limitations of the Zizekian view of ideology?

Confronting the challenges of ultra-liberalism and liberal realism:

  • How do we take liberal theories of subjectivity as comprehensive orientations to questions of subjective life and understand liberalist theories as furthering certain notions of subjection and freedom.
  • Studies of liberal theories of the subject: Taine, Tocqueville, Emerson, Nietzsche, Rawls, Mills etc.
  • Investigation into the problem of political epistemology and how the political epistemology from the long nineteenth century still shapes our political discourse today. Specifically, I am interested in revisiting the realism/nominalism debate in political thought.

Reaction, Nietzsche/anism and the social power of the intellectual:

  • An investigation into the legacy of Nietzsche on the left and understanding the function of intellectuals within the “Nietzsche industry” today in the wake of a newfound renaissance of Marxist critiques of Nietzsche, specifically from Domenico Losurdo, Geoff Waite, Lukács and others
  • To interpret Nietzsche/anism as the biggest antagonist to Marx’s Thesis 11, that philosophers have only interpreted the world, when the task is to change it?
  • How do we begin to understand Marxism at a distance from Nietzsche/anism?

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