Dr. Eric-John Russell

Dr. Eric-John Russell

Postdoctoral Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow

Period at the center: July 2022 - June 2024

Research Project: Certainty in an Uncertain World: A Critical Theory of Opinion

Email: Eric-John.Russell@sussex.ac.uk

Website

Dr. Eric-John Russell is a Marie Curie Fellow at the Institut für Philosophie at Universität Potsdam. He previously held the position of Enseignant in the Département de Philosophie at Université Paris 8. He is a researcher specializing in the areas of German Idealism, Hegelian Marxism and Frankfurt School Critical Theory. His first book, Spectacular Logic in Hegel and Debord: Why Everything Is as It Seems, was published by Bloomsbury in 2021 with a foreword by Étienne Balibar. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Marx & Philosophy Review of Books and a founding editor of Cured Quail.

Research Project

Certainty in an Uncertain World: A Critical Theory of Opinion

This research examines what comprises ‘opinion’ in today’s world of instantaneous communication. How, might it be said, does thought lapse into opinion? The project develops a philosophical, social and critical theory of what it means to articulate and lay claims of perspective, belief and attitude within the contours of twenty-first century social communication.

The project argues that we must return to the philosophical idea of public opinion to better understand the current structural transformations of the public sphere and its critical challenges. The research proceeds in three methodological steps: (i) analyses the very idea of a realm of public opinion and develops a socio-epistemological theory of its historical transformation by drawing on Hegel and Habermas’ theories of the bourgeois public sphere; (ii) analyses a first fundamental crisis of the public sphere in late-capitalist culture with attention towards Adorno’s critique of industrial culture and mass media; (iii) analyses the current crisis of the public sphere at the beginning of the twenty-first century with the proliferation of digital technologies of mass communication.

The research will develop a social and philosophical reconstruction of ‘opinion’ characteristic of social communication today, and aims to provide vital new insight into how and why a distinctive epistemological structure of thought has become pervasive in a ‘post-truth’ society.

Selected publications

Books

A Gallery of Recuperation. On the Merits of Slandering Charlatans, Swindlers, and Frauds, Translation of Jaime Semprun, Précis de récupération, Paris 1975. With an extended introduction by Eric-John Russell, London: MIT Press 2023.

Spectacular Logic in Hegel and Debord: Why Everything is as it Seems, (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021).

Articles

Why the Customer is Always Right. Debord’s Spectacle as the Rationalisation of Mimesis“, in: Radical Philosophy 2:14 (2023), 21—35.

Guy Debord, An Untimely Aristocrat“, in: Theory, Culture & Society 39:5 (2022), 103—125.

Nothing is Any Longer the Opposite of Anything: Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle Today“, in: Verso Blog, 2021.

Georg Lukács: An Actually Existing Antinomy“, in: The Sage Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory, Vol. 1, ed. B. Best, W. Bonefeld, C. O’Kane (New York: Sage Publishing, 2018), 216—233.