SHIFT Associate Professor of Applied Ethics
George’s teaching and research are problem-centric, focusing on issues of peace and justice, and drawing on various fields: ethics, social-political philosophy, critical race theory, decolonial theory, global/international studies, and conflict resolution. He has taught a range of courses related to this work and his publications have appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as the International Journal of Transitional Justice, Critical Philosophy of Race, Philosophy and Social Criticism, and Radical Philosophy Review. He is currently working on a book that addresses issues of race, reconciliation, and solidarity among Middle Eastern Americans.
This course is a critical survey of the key figures in the tradition that begins with the work of Karl Marx. We will begin with selections from those theorists that inspired and thus afforded Marx's thought. We will then read some of the most significant sections of Marx's writing. After establishing a firm grasp on what Marx said and why he said it, the course will then explore the various discursive trajectories that Marx's work inspired-this includes Gramsci, Luxemburg, Lukacs, Althusser, Horkheimer, Adorno, Benjamin, Habermas, and a range of contemporary critical, as well as decolonial, theorists. Key Words: Philosophy, Politics, Theory, Ethics
In this course, you will become familiar with key figures and arguments in contemporary social-political philosophy. We will focus on the tradition of liberal social contract theory, which first emerged in the 17th century and continues to inform political thought. We begin with an introduction to the major theoretical and cultural origins of contract theory: Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan and John Locke's Two Treatises of Government. Through these texts and others, you will be prepared to discuss a wide range of foundational issues in political philosophy: legitimacy, authority, law, rights, equality, liberty, property, citizenship, and justice. Given that liberalism has been the central tradition in political thought since its emergence and imposition, there is an equally important tradition of dissent that we will address. Common to the various critical theories we will address is the illumination of contradictions within liberalism, such that despite liberal values of democracy, equality, and liberty, there continue to be flagrant cases of tyranny and terror sanctioned by liberal nations. The victims of these tyrannies include women, indigenous peoples, racial/ethnic and religious minorities, the working class/poor, and many Others. As we analyze these critical accounts, we will also consider how we can move past the failures of liberalism to form a more peaceful and just society.
This Division III seminar will focus on philosophical methods in writing and research. A specific emphasis will be placed on concept analysis and genealogy as critical frameworks for building, expanding, and sustaining social-political research projects. Students will be expected to share their Div III research for class critique.