What is critical theory? Per the Oxford English Dictionary: “critical theory [translating German kritische Theorie, M. Horkheimer (1937) in Zeitschr. f. Sozialforschung 245], a dialectical critique of society (esp. of the theoretical bases of its organization) associated with the leaders of the Institute for Social Research at Frankfurt (the Frankfurt School).” (source: “critical, adj.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2016. Web. 3 December 2016.)

Critical theory, in my mind, is the study of how the things we take for granted – especially involving politics, sexuality, and cultural mores – are not “natural” or “common sense.” To me, deconstruction is a systematic breakdown of the systems upon which human society operates; the values and philosophic concepts upon which we as citizens of the western world see as the normal, integral set of values which make up our collective and group psychology. Furthermore, I believe deconstruction (per Derrida) to be the basis for all modern critical thought; be it feminism, queer theory, modern Marxist theory, etc. the basis for all modern theory lies in the principals set forth by pioneering deconstructionists.

There is no singular answer to the question “what is critical theory?” because the pursuit of critical theory means something different to everyone working in the field. On this page, you will find my academic and personal studies in the fields of critical theory and philosophy. I try to focus my work in areas of political or philosophic importance, especially modern Marxism, the concepts and study of free will, and debunking false and misguided modern political discourse.


Heal the Body, Destroy the Mind: A Critical Study of Pat Barker’s Regeneration

In this paper, I will demonstrate that Pat Barker’s Regeneration is a misleading attempt to portray the psychological effects WWI had on soldiers and misrepresents the inhumane treatments inflicted upon those suffering from war neurosis during the period the author purports to dramatise.

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Death Drive

Bareback Subculture, Reproductive Futurism, and the Death Drive

In this paper, I will demonstrate that while Edelman’s reproductive futurism and Dean’s “barebacking” (Dean 80) seem irreconcilably opposed, Freud’s concept of the death drive provides an accurate methodology for examining both forms of social expression.

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My Mother’s Penis – Deconstructing Freud and Lacan

In The Signification of the Phallus Lacan writes: “it is Freud’s discovery that gives to the signifier / signified opposition the full extent of implications,” crediting Freud with his discovery of the phallus as the “privileged signifier.” This begs the question, are Lacan’s privileged signifier and Freud’s symbolic penis the same thing?

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10 Rules for Effective Writing

10 Rules for Effective Writing

You don’t have to write for other people to enjoy your work, but, if for some reason you want your work to be widely enjoyed, for the love of all things holy follow the gosh-darned rules.

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A Poison Tree

My Wrath is “A Poison Tree” – A Deconstruction of William Blake

A deconstruction of any work should never end upon a declaration of aporia; the discovery of aporia is where the work begins.  In this paper I tried to explore the opposing meanings in “A Poison Tree,” but in my zeal to cut page count I lost much of my point regarding aporia and my belief that aporia doesn’t exist.

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Free Will

Semantics and the Problem of Free Will

The concept of free will is a source of constant debate and has been a major focus of philosophical and religious discourse for more than two millennia; the concepts of determinism and free will are among the oldest known philosophies.

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Deconstructing Anarcho-Capitalism

Upon immediate reflection of the term anarcho-capitalism, a explanation of some imagined or idealized system of governance, I find myself recoiling at the obvious oxymoron that is the opposed terms: anarchy and capitalism. At first glance, this statement seems to be a joke, a non-sequitur, something which conveys nothing but empty speech acts or textual utterances.

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Computer Simulation

Are we Living in a Computer Simulation?

Descartes began his quest for knowledge by questioning the nature of the reality he perceived, eventually arriving at three possible conclusions (Descartes). The conclusion I will focus on in this paper is his dream argument, or the idea that we’re living in some kind of simulation.

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