The Biopolitics of Intellectual Property: Regulating Innovation and Personhood in the Information Age (Cambridge University Press, 2020)
Intellectual property is power, but what kind of power is it, and what does it do? Building on the work of Michel Foucault, this study examines different ways of understanding power in copyright, trademark and patent policy: as law, as promotion of public welfare, and as promotion of neoliberal privatization. It argues that intellectual property policy is moving toward neoliberalism, even as that move is broadly contested in everything from resistance movements to Supreme Court decisions. The struggle to conceptualize IP matters, because different regimes of power imagine different kinds of subjects, from the rights-bearing citizen to the economic agent of neoliberalism. As a central part of the regulation of contemporary economies, IP is central to all aspects of our lives. It matters for the works we create, the brands we identify and the medicines we consume. The kind of subjects it imagines are the kinds of subjects we become.
Hobbes and the Making of Modern Political Thought (Continuum, 2009)
In this book, I offer a new interpretation of the claim that Hobbes is the first ‘modern’ political philosopher, guided by the thought that, for Hobbes (as for other self-declared moderns), thought is to be considered as “constructive” of its objects. In Hobbes’s version we find the combination of an anomalous and anachronistic view of geometry with a radical, almost post-modern understanding of language. After situating Hobbes against the late scholastic and Machiavellian traditions against which he wrote, I study Hobbes’s neglected writings on mathematics and language. That analysis then motivates a rereading of his famous pronouncements about the state of nature and the absolutist state that is supposed to be its remedy.
The book concludes by showing the relevance of Hobbes to contemporary debates around the radically democratic potential of the ‘multitude.’ Hobbesian thought is the opposition point in these debates; what emerges here is that Hobbes is very much still with us. As a theorist who is interested in managing and channeling the productive energies of the population, Hobbes emerges as the first theorist of what we now call biopolitics.
- “How Foucault Got Rid of (Bossy) Marxism,” Critical Review, 34:3-4 (2022), 372-403. doi:10.1080/08913811.2022.2121516
- “The Death of the Data Subject,” Law, Culture and the Humanities (online first, Oct. 2021), https://doi.org/10.1177/17438721211049376
- “Infrastructure, Modulation, Portal: Thinking with Foucault about how Internet Architecture Shapes Subjects,” Techné (forthcoming).
- “Privacy, People, and Markets,” Ethics & International Affairs 33:4 (2019), 499-509. doi:10.1017/S0892679419000492
- “The Banality of Cynicism: Foucault and the Limits of Authentic Parrhēsia,” Foucault Studies 25 (2018), 251-73. doi: 10.22439/fs.v25i2.5583
- (with Frank Pasquale) “Towards a Critical Theory of Employee Wellness,” Biosocieties 13:1 (2018), 190-212, doi: 10.1057/s41292-017-0064-1
- “Copyright between Economic and Cultural Models of Creativity,” in Spaces for the Future: A Companion to Philosophy of Technology, eds. Joseph C. Pitt and Ashley Shew (New York: Routledge, 2018), 130-40.
- “The Subject and Power of Bioethics,” Journal of Ethics, Medicine and Public Health 3 (2017), 410-19. doi: 10.1016/j.jemep.2017.08.001
- “Equitable relief as a relay between juridical and biopower: the case of school desegregation,” Continental Philosophy Review (online first). doi: 10.1007/s11007-016-9372-6.
- “Successful Failure: What Foucault Can Teach Us about Privacy Self-Management in a World of Facebook and Big Data,” Ethics and Information Technology (2015), doi: 10.1007/s10676-015-9363-z
- “Cultural Branding, Geographic Source Indicators, and Commodification,” Theory, Culture & Society 33:2 (2016), 125-45, doi:
- “Building Better Citizens: Hobbes against the Ontological Illusion,” Epoche
20:1 (2015), 105-129.
- Know thy Cyborg Self: Thoughts on Socrates and Technological Literacy,” in The Nature of Technology: Implications for Learning and Teaching, eds. Michael Clough, Joanne Olson, and Dale Niederhauser (Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2013), 15-34.
- “Of Suicide and Falling Stones: Finitude, Contingency, and Corporeal Vulnerability in (Judith Butler’s) Spinoza,” in Hegel after Spinoza: A Volume of Critical Essays, ed. Hasana Sharp and Jason Smith (London: Bloomsbury/Continuum, 2012), 151-69.
- “Review Essay: Robert Merges, Justifying Intellectual Property (Harvard UP, 2011),” Ethics and Information Technology 14 (2012), 169-77.
- (with Heather Lipford and Celine Latulipe) “Contextual Gaps: Privacy Problems on Facebook,” Ethics and Information Technology 13 (2011), 389-302.
- “Coding the Dictatorship of ‘the They:’ A Phenomenological Critique of Digital Rights Management,” in Ethics and Phenomenology, eds. Mark Sanders and Jeremy Wisnewski (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2012), 197-219.
- “Loving Well: Affective Economics in Hobbes, Locke, and Spinoza,” North American Spinoza Society (NASS) Monograph 14 (2009), 19-30.
- “Clearing the rubbish: Locke, the Waste Proviso, and the Moral Justification of Intellectual Property,” Public Affairs Quarterly 23 (2009), 67-93.
- “Overblocking Autonomy: The Case of Mandatory Library Filtering Software,” Continental Philosophy Review 42 (2009), 81-100.
- “Platonism, Spinoza and the History of Deconstruction,” in Theory after Derrida: Essays in Critical Praxis, eds. Kailash C. Baral, and R. Radhakrishnan. New Delhi/Abingdon: Routledge, 2009, 74-99.
- “One View of the Dungeon: Torture and the Ticking Time Bomb between Governmentality and Sovereignty,” International Studies in Philosophy 40:2 (2008), 11-32.
- “Hobbes’s Radical Nominalism,” Epoché 11 (2006), 201-223.
- “Capital sive natura: Spinoza and the Immanence of Empire,” International Studies in Philosophy 37 (2005), 29-48.
- “Hobbes and the Pre-Modern Geometry of Modern Political Thought,” in Arts of Calculation: Numerical Thought in Early Modern Europe, eds. David Glimp and Michelle Warren (St. Martins/Palgrave, 2004), 115-135.
- “Digital Copyright and Pure Law,” qui parle 14 (2003), 21-47.
- “Thoughts on the Fetishization of Cyberspeech and Turn from ‘Public’ to ‘Private’ Law,” Constellations 10 (2003), 113-134.
- “Digital Media and the Scope of ‘Computer Ethics,’” in Virtual Morality: Morals, Ethics, and New Media, ed. Mark J. P. Wolf (New York: Peter Lang, 2003), 17-38.
- “’Against this Empusa:’ Hobbes’s Leviathan and the Book of Job,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy 10 (2002), 3-29.
- “Marx’s Anomalous Reading of Spinoza,” Interpretation 28 (2000), 17-31.
- “’Reduced to a Zero Point:’ Benjamin’s Critique of Kantian Historical Experience,” The Philosophical Forum 31 (2000), 163-186.
- “The Jewish Question Revisited: Marx, Derrida and Ethnic Nationalism,” Philosophy and Social Criticism 23 (1997), 47-78.
Reviews and shorter pieces
- “Intellectual Property,” in the International Encyclopedia of Ethics, ed. Hugh LaFollette (Basil Blackwell, 2013).
- “Meaning,” in the Bloomsbury Companion to Hobbes, ed. Sharon Lloyd (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), 99-103.
- Review of Robert Merges, Justifying Intellectual Property (Harvard UP, 2011) for Concurring Opinions, at: http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2011/12/book-review-mergess-justifying-intellectual-property.html. (this is a short version of the review essay above)
- Review of Eduardo Moisés Peñalver and Sonia K. Katyal, Property Outlaws: How Squatters, Pirates and Protesters Improve the Law of Ownership (Yale UP, 2010) for Concurring Opinions
- “A Commonwealth of Ordered Words,” review of Philip Pettit, Made with Words: Hobbes on Language, Mind, and Politics (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2008), Review of Politics 71 (2009), 142-44.