Philosophy

Michael Bray

Associate Professor of Philosophy

Areas of expertise
Political Philosophy; Critical Theory

Education

PhD, The Pennsylvania State University 2002
BA, Sarah Lawrence College 1995

Teaching Philosophy


Previous Courses

Theories of Class; Tocqueville & Marx: Democracy and Capitalism; Political Philosophy; Aesthetics; Modern Philosophy; 19th C. Philosophy; Labor, Property & Power; Mass Culture & Its Discontents

Research

My original area of research was early modern political philosophy, work that shaped my dissertation, "The Science and Politics of the Efficient Cause in Hobbes and Spinoza," as well as a series of articles on the relationship between political and moral conceptions in early modern Europe and the social transformations involved in the early stages of capitalist development. 


My present research focuses on the relationship (and disjunctions) between theories of democracy and the sociology of capitalism and class relationships.  I have recently completed essays on the public sphere theory and early films of Alexander Kluge and on populism as a "symptom" of the repression of class antagonisms in liberal democracy.  I am currently working on a book length study of populism and social transformation.


Publications

"Rearticulating Contemporary Populism: Class, State, and Culture," under review at Historical Materialism

"El Estado Somos Todos, El Pueblo Soy Yo?: On Chavismo and the Necessity of a Leader," forthcoming in Theory & Event, 16:4 (2013)

"Openess as a Form of Closure: The Public Sphere, Social Class and Alexander Kluge's Counterproducts," Telos 159 (Summer 2012)

"Sympathy, Disenchantment, and Authority: Adam Smith and the Construction of Moral Sentiments," Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 28: 1 (2007)

"Macpherson Restored?: Hobbes and the Question of Social Origins," History of Political Thought XXVIII: 1 (2007)

"The Hedges That Are Set: Hobbes and the Future of Politics," Epoche 11:1 (2006)