Welcome!

Here you’ll find information about my teaching and research interests. I study political theory with an emphasis on the radical tradition (especially anarchism) and with complementary interests in contemporary anti-foundationalist thought and issues at the intersection of epistemology and politics.

I’m influenced by two main currents of thought. On the one hand, I’m influenced by the anarchist tradition and debates in radical political thought (particularly issues of authoritarianism and vanguardism), and on the other, contemporary philosophical debates that I think mirror these concerns (esp. debates on pragmatism, the Enlightenment, and post-foundational literatures).

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my research.  Thanks for stopping by!

8 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Today on KPFA (Berkeley) your discussion was thrillingly clean, honest and right on for me.

    I say mankind has two problems that he is incapable of using his “superior?” brain to solve. Overpopulation and religion. We are a threat not only to our own kind, but every other species we selfishly dispose of at will.
    What to do?? My “salvation” is association with dogs who lovingly speak in reasonable ways. With body language, and behavior they say all that’s needed, but it becomes impossible to find allies copying my pups silence.
    You did perfectly on today’s program.

    Adog!
    Dog
    4/7/15

      • WE are not in touch with “our humanity”, and mostly have lost that ablity! I insist that the word “humane” makes as much sense as the over used oxymoron – “military intelligence”. Not one other species is as competitive, hostile, and combatant.
        The instances where animals (dogs and horses I know about) help man therapeutically, are not only heart warming, but conclusive. Notice more often though, man uses them in vulgar ways. Wish I had answers. I write this because your comments today made sense and gave me hope ~ that someone is paying attention to my quandaries.

        Dog’s LOVE!,
        Don

  2. I just listened to your wonderful and stimulating interview on Against the grain.Are any of your talks and more interviews posted on You Tube. Can you recommend a book or two related on what you talked about today on Against the grain.

    Thank you,Franklin in Berkeley

    • Hi Franklin,

      Thanks for listening. If you’re interested in the topic. I would read I Am Not A Man, I Am Dynamite! edited by John Moore and Spencer Sunshine. It’s a great start to anarchist readings of Nietzsche. Also, no YouTube vids yet, but maybe soon. Thanks.

      JP

  3. Thank you Joaquin for your interview on Against the Grain. I just recently listened to it as a podcast. I’ve been wrestling with these questions myself and believe they are critically important for radical politics today. My experience has been that many socialists assimilate everything with their ideology, whether it fits or not. I liked the phrase you used, “let reality speak for itself.” An over dependence on ideology forces everything into pre-conceived patterns that lead to reductionist or conspiratorial thinking, inhibited creativity, and missed novel opportunities. I’m discouraged from joining most socialist groups that act like a church, even when I agree with 95% of what they have to say.
    However, your interview didn’t explore the opposite extreme, anti-intellectualism, which I believe is much more common and equally problematic among liberals (and some anarchists) today. There is a general rejection of strategic thinking out of fear that it will lead to too much structure and ultimately authoritarianism. Also, many liberals still harbor nationalistic prejudices that prevent them from examining Marxism or anything outside of 20th century American history. Without a solid ideological framework, mistakes are repeated without any critical analysis or correction.
    Your discussion with CS Soong helped clarify for me, the importance of understanding what science can or cannot tell us. We need to observe the world with unbias eyes (as much as possible) even if we have predictions based on past experience. The practice of politics is so complex, it would be more accurately described as an art than a science. Also, the democratic process (and rejection of authoritarianism) requires that we question experts, and make our own decisions, even as we engage with their extensive knowledge.
    This reminds me of another podcast episode called Emergence on Radiolab. They explored examples of how seemingly random individual activities, like guessing the weight of an ox, or the behavior of ants, can result in something more accurate, or intelligent, than any individual participant. This is powerful evidence for the wisdom of democracy over the rule of experts.

    • Hi Matthew,

      Navigating the issues you bring up has been an anarchist concern since the 19th century (and will likely always be with anti-authoritarian movements). I thought you framed the issues quite nicely. Thanks for your comment.

      JP

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s