Steven DeCaroli

Associate ProfessorPhilosophy

Steven DeCaroli is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. He has advanced degrees in both comparative literature (MA) and philosophy (MA, Ph.D.) from the University of Wisconsin and Binghamton University and has taught as a visiting professor in the graduate school of National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei and as a visiting scholar in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Professor DeCaroli’s research focuses on political philosophy, including extensive publications on the work of contemporary Italian philosopher, Giorgio Agamben, including one of the earliest critical volumes on his writings, Giorgio Agamben: Sovereignty and Life (Stanford, 2007). His current research, which emerges from the central themes of Agamben’s project, is a study of the concept of equity in Western thought, with particular attention paid to its formulation in classical Greece and its transformation and eventual decline in early modern Europe. Provisionally entitled, Aequitas: Law’s Other Exception, the study sets the tradition of equity in contrast to the tradition of equality, exposing the dangers implicit in the later. He recently held the position of Cushing Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Goucher and is currently the Director of the Philosophy Program.  

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Research, Scholarship, Creative Work in Progress

Professor DeCaroli is currently conducting research on the concept of equity for a book manuscript entitled, Aequitas. The project is a longitudinal study of equity as it appears throughout the history of western thought, which aims to present the concept as a counterpoint to the idea of equality which has dominated political discourse since the beginning of the modern period. As a result of having largely fallen out of favor, having been displaced by a tendency to instead privilege the notion of equality, equity has acquired a vagueness which has not only made it so that we typically fail to register a genuine difference between the two concepts, but has also compelled us to forget its precise historical sense. Professor DeCaroli’s work aims to reclaim this tradition of equity, in all its complexity, for use today.

Publications

Giorgio Agamben: Sovereignty and Life, ed. Steven DeCaroli and Matthew Calarco (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2007)

“Arendt’s Krisis” Ethics and Education 15, no. 2 (2020): 1-14.

“What is a Form-of-Life?: Giorgio Agamben and the Practice of Poverty,” in Agamben and Radical Politics (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016), 207-233

“Political Life: Giorgio Agamben and the Idea of Authority,” Research in Phenomenology 43, no. 2 (2013), 220-242

“The Idea of Awakening: Giorgio Agamben and the Nāgārjuna References,” Res Publica: Revista de Filosofia Politica 28 (2012), 101-138

“Things to Come: Monstrosity and Futurity,” (with Margret Grebowicz) in Reading Negri (London: Open Court Press, 2011), 249-274.

“Boundary Stones: Giorgio Agamben and the Field of Sovereignty,” in Giorgio Agamben: Sovereignty and Life (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2007), 43-69

“A Capacity for Agreement: Hannah Arendt and the Critique of judgment,” Social Theory and Practice 33, no. 3 (2007), 361-386

“The Greek Profile: Hegel’s Aesthetics and the Implications of a Pseudo-Science,” Philosophical Forum 37, no. 2 (2006), 113-151

“Visibility and History: Giorgio Agamben and the Exemplary,” Philosophy Today 45, no. 5 (2001), 9-17

External Awards, Honors, Grants

Taiwan National Science Council, Research Fellowship

Visiting Professor, Department of Comparative Literature, National Taiwan Normal University

Visiting Professor, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales

Conference Papers & Panel Participation

“That Which Is Born Generates Its Own Use: Giorgio Agamben and Karma, Part 1,” Comparative and Continental Philosophy Circle (CCPC), Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands, May 2019                  

 “Diet: Agamben, Equity and the Regime,” Society for Italian Philosophy (SIP), Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, March 2019            

“All Things Are Not Determined by Law: Equity and the Problem of Accumulation,” Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP), Penn State University, State College, Pennsylvania, October 2018

“Equality and Its Dangers,” Comparative and Continental Philosophy Circle, Arizona State University, March 2017

“What is a Form-of-Life?: Giorgio Agamben and the Practice of Poverty,” Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP), Salt Lake City, Utah, October 2016

“Law’s Other Exception: Giorgio Agamben and Equity,” Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, Georgetown University, March 2015

“Prison Education and the Myth of Separation,” Rethinking Prisons Conference, Vanderbilt University, May 2013

“The Idea of Awakening: Giorgio Agamben and the Nāgārjuna Reference,” Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP), Rochester, New York, November 2012

“No Perch: Giorgio Agamben and Buddhism,” Comparative and Continental Philosophy Circle, Cork, Ireland, March 2011

“A Capacity for Agreement: Hannah Arendt and the Critique of Judgment,” Stellenbosch, South Africa, January 2007

“Aesthetics and Race in Eighteenth-Century European Philosophy,” Asociación Filosófica de México, Morelia, Mexico, November 2005

Invited Talks

“Between Crisis and Judgment,” Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden, October 2019

“Foucault’s Milieu: Power as Medium,” National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, October 2019

“Equity: The Prehistory of an Idea,” University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, June 2019

“Democracy and Equity,” John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio, February 2017

“Equity and the Problem of Purity,” National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, March 2016

Summum jus, summa injuria: The Origins of Equity,” National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan, March 2016

“What is a Form-of-Life?,” Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. Johns, Canada, November 2015

“Agamben and East Asian Thought,” Taiwan Humanities Society, Taipei, Taiwan, June 2014

“Poverty as a Way of Life: Giorgio Agamben and Economy,” University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, December 2013

“Political Life: Giorgio Agamben and the Idea of Authority,” Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea, November 2012

“What is an Event?: Aristotle on Justice,” Beijing University, Beijing, China, November 2012

“The Myth of Separation: Prison Education and the Neoliberal Soul,” University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Arkansas, October 2012

“Gods Among Men,” Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, April 2009