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Colin Koopman

Head of Philosophy & Director of New Media & Culture Certificate Program
Professor of Philosophy & Pre-Law Advisor
German & Scandinavian, Philosophy Department
Phone: 541-346-5980
Office: 250A Susan Campbell Hall
Office Hours: By Appointment
Research Interests: Political Philosophy, Genealogy, Pragmatism, Information Politics and Data Ethics, History of Philosophy


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 information politics and data ethics is best summarized by:

Ongoing work includes research (individual or collaborative) toward contributions on:

  • A Genealogy of Information in the History of Genetics
  • A Genealogy of Medical Records (comparing clinical and insurance records)
  • A Genealogy of Intelligence Testing
  • A Normative Theory of Fairness in Data
  • Relational Egalitarianism about Data Systems
  • Genealogical Realism in Political Theory
  • Selected studies in the Historhy of philosophy: Du Bois, Simondon, Foucault and Arendt



Articles and Essays:

  • On Data Politics:
  • 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 a variety of 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: