My writing and teaching are focused on contributions to political theory and ethics. My current focus is on the the politics of information and the ethics of data. I explore these fields in terms of century-old predecessor technologies that continue to condition contemporary techno-trends that are often presented as importantly new. Methodologically, my work mobilizes analytics and concepts from the philosophical traditions of genealogy and pragmatism to engage current issues of politics, ethics, and culture. From a metaphilosophical perspective, I always attempt to challenge myself (and my collaborators and students) to practice philosophy through a style of pluralism that draws widely on diverse figures, traditions, disciplines, and themes. Thus I have sought in past work to develop an understanding of a range of figures across genealogy (Foucault, Nietzsche, Williams) and pragmatism (James, Du Bois, Dewey, Rorty, Brandom) as well as other thinkers in Continental (Deleuze, Habermas, Latour) and Analytic (Wittgenstein, Cavell, Rawls) philosophy. I also aim to engage work developed in other disciplinary contexts by historians, anthropologists, political scientists, legal theorists, and information scientists.
My recent research on informaiton politics and data ethics is best summarized by:
- How We Became Our Data: A Genealogy of the Informational Person. This project focuses on the overlay between information and politics as mediated by a form of subjectivity emergent in the twentieth century. Research for this work has taken me into the early years of scientific personality psychology (ca. 1917-1937), the racialization of real estate appraisal practices in America (ca. 1923-1934), and the history of identification paperwork (ca. 1913-1933). Summaries of parts of the book are available elsewhere in:
- An early preivew piece on 'Infopolitics' from the New York Times (2014) and my more recent New York Times piece on Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal (2018)
- "Information before information theory: The politics of data beyond the perspective of communication" in New Media and Society
- "Infopolitics, Biopolitics, Anatomopolitics: Toward a Genealogy of the Power of Data" in Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal
- Or, see my talk "New Media, New Power?" at the University of Utah, or a more recent presentation on "Infopolitics" at my undergrad alma mater
Ongoing work includes research (individual or collaborative) toward contributions on:
- The Genealogy of Information and the History of Genetics
- A Genealogy of Medical Records
- A Normative Theory of Fairness in Data
- Richard Rorty's Metaphilosophy
- Michel Foucault's Genealogy and Realist Political Theory
- How We Became Our Data: A Genealogy of the Informational Person, University of Chicago Press, forthcoming, May 2019
- Genealogy as Critique, Indiana University Press, 2013 (see a review essay symposium in Foucault Studies, no. 18)
- Pragmatism as Transition, Columbia University Press, 2009 (see a review symposium in Contemporary Pragmatism in 2017 published upon the paperback release)
Articles and Essays:
- On Data Politics:
- A distillation of the contributions to media theory and media historiography offered in How We Became Our Data appears in "Information before information theory: The politics of data beyond the perspective of communication" in New Media and Society
- A distillation of the contributions to political philosophy offered in How We Became Our Data appears in "Infopolitics, Biopolitics, Anatamopolitics" at the Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal.
- Some arguments from the book are also summarized in two short pieces in The New York Times: "The Age of 'Infopolitics'" and "How Democracy Can Survive Big Data."
- On Genealogy and Pragmatism:
- I have summarized some of the key ideas in my first two books in a précis article titled "Genealogical Pragmatism" in which I also map out future inquiries.
- Among my most representative publications are a pair of companion papers on Foucault's genealogy in Critical Inquiry (in the Summer 2013 issue) and in Constellations (in the December 2015 issue), and another pair of companion papers on James's pragmatism in Journal of the History of Philosophy (in the July 2017 issue) and in diacritics (in a 2016 issue).
- I have published work on genealogy and pragmatism in numerous journals including: Critical Inquiry, diacritics, Journal of the History of Philosophy, Metaphilosophy, The Review of Metaphysics, Constellations, Philosophy & Social Criticism, The Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Contemporary Pragmatism, Foucault Studies, and elsewhere.
- I have worked on three editorial projects on these topics: a special issue on interdisciplinary uses of Foucault (in History of the Human Sciences), another issue on Foucault and Pragmatism (published in Foucault Studies), and a co-edited volume on Rorty and cultural critical philosophy (published by Bloomsbury [formerly Continuum]).
- For further details, please visit my regularly updated website where you will find a complete list of publications (and links) as well as information on courses I regularly teach: http://www.uoregon.edu/~koopman/.
PHIL 344 Introduction to Philosophy of Law
(syllabus for PHIL 344)