Eli Lichtenstein

Eli B. Lichtenstein

Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy

John R. Howard Hall 226, MSC: 45

I view philosophy as both a historical tradition and a reflexive mode for questioning deep-seated beliefs and values. I accordingly teach philosophical texts as situated attempts to articulate and resolve problems that remain deeply pertinent today. My goal is to help students cultivate capacities to reflect critically on self and world with resources from the philosophical past.

My scholarship seeks to explain how we can use history to critique present forms of state and social violence. I argue that genealogical research may become an instrument of emancipation when it is guided by the normative commitments that are immanent to social struggles. My broader research interests lie in 19th and 20th century continental philosophy, critical theory, social and political philosophy, and critical philosophy of race.

When not reading or writing philosophy, I like to go to the cinema, cross-country ski, and (try) to learn new languages.

Academic Credentials

PhD in Philosophy, Northwestern University, 2022

MA in Philosophy, The New School for Social Research, 2016

BA in Philosophy, Eugene Lang College, The New School, 2015


Spring 2023

PHIL 102: Introduction to Philosophy
MWF 9:10AM-10:10AM

Introduction to problems and fields of philosophy through the study of major philosophers’ works and other philosophical texts. Specific content varies with instructor.

Prerequisites: None.

PHIL 217: Topics: Philosophy of Race
MWF 11:30AM-12:30AM

What is race and how is it related to racism? How are racial identities constituted, challenged, and transformed? This course examines the idea of race from five related philosophical perspectives. First we’ll consider the metaphysics of race, asking if race is a biological phenomenon, or else if (and how) it is socially constructed. Second, we’ll consider genealogies of race and racism, to examine the complex and plural processes by which different racial identities emerged in modernity, and to question the relevance of history to an understanding of racism today. Third, we’ll read phenomenological accounts of race, which describe how race is an embodied phenomenon, which can impact our perception of social reality, below the level of conscious awareness. Fourth, we’ll consider how race has been excluded from much Western political philosophy, and weigh the broader causes and consequences of this exclusion. Fifth, we’ll read some major works in the Black radical tradition, which have theorized complex intersections of race, class, and gender, and have charted paths towards collective emancipation. Throughout the course we will approach these themes by surveying the work of both historical and contemporary philosophers and theorists of race.

Prerequisites: None.


“Explanation and Evaluation in Foucault’s Genealogy of Morality.” European Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming).

“Adorno, Marx, and abstract domination.” Philosophy & Social Criticism (forthcoming).

“Sovereignty, Genealogy, and the Critique of State Violence.” Constellations 29, no. 2 (2022): 214-228

“Foucault’s Analytics of Sovereignty.” Critical Horizons 22, no. 3 (2021): 287-305.

“On the Ways of Writing the History of the State.” Foucault Studies, no. 28 (2020): 71-95.

Location: J.R. Howard Hall