Moses Estrada

Profile

I am a PhD student in Philosophy at the University of Leeds, UK; I have confirmed an offer to be a Recognised Student in the Philosophy dept. at University of Oxford, UK (Michaelmas term, 2021); and a Visiting Student in the Philosophy dept. at UC, Riverside (2020-21), participated in seminars on Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Rousseau, and late Wittgenstein. I am based in Riverside, California.

I previously completed a Master of Letters in Philosophy from University of Aberdeen, UK. 

I am interested in problems of the self and the other in the areas of Ordinary Language Philosophy, Post-Kantian Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Film, and Philosophy of Literature.

I participate (virtually) with the Hegel Reading Group at Oxford University, UK.

Research interests

The research topic is the logic of acknowledgement in the work of Stanley Cavell, which crosses over the boundaries of Ordinary Language Philosophy and Post-Kantian Philosophy. The task is to reconceive the traditional problem of other minds: whether I can know other minds as my own mind at all. I wish to reconstruct, or reverse, the very predicament and so its resolution. The problem of knowing or understanding other minds as one’s own mind has entertained contemporary philosophers working between Analytic and Post-Kantian traditions, and has been diversely approached from epistemological, conceptual, and phenomenological angles.

I focus on developing a radical reading of Cavell’s The Claim of Reason (esp. part IV), resorting to Austin and Wittgenstein, but returning to Fichte and Hegel, before venturing to sketch out affinities and difference with Critical Theory (i.e. Adorno, Benjamin, Gramsci). In line with a prompt from Cavell’s diagnosis, I look at the question of estrangement from one’s words, world, and others, which cross over the boundaries of Ordinary Language Philosophy and Post-Kantian Philosophy. Again, I wish to attempt an approach that is a reversal of the discussion, responding to the question of understanding one’s own mind as other. Is it plausible to claim that I understand my mind as another? Is it a claim? What could be the criteria, or conditions, and particular circumstances of doing so? And, do these questions lead to political, moral, and aesthetic ramifications? This part of my research project will be undertaken at Oxford University, Michaelmas term, 2021

To engage these questions, I return to Fichte’s and Hegel’s concept of mutual recognition, to find out the significance of what Cavell called the problem of the other. As I understand the problem of the other, it is a concern with a sort of alienation: how could I become estranged from my own words, world, or others? The unease, therefore, is to reveal whether the predicament is there at all, and whether I am bound to estrangement, i.e. to understand myself as another. My project recreates the conditions for the problem of estrangement from oneself and others. These investigations further survey instances and examples going “outside language-games” or “outside philosophy.” The contribution is to put the human animal back into language, the world, and philosophy itself.

In addition, I shall explore the themes of the self and the other, the fall and redemption, the human and inhuman in contemporary films, i.e. Blade Runner 2049 (I recently led a Flim discussion for Center of Philosophy of Religion, at Leeds). The idea is that some films may contribute to philosophizing, e.g. illuminating the sense of self as negation (Sartre).

I have written a chapter “Philosophy’s Antagonisms: Retracing the Self in Hamann, Fichte, Hegel, & Wittgenstein” for Wittgenstein and Classical German Philosophy (De Gruyter, forthcoming).

I am also interested in Latin American Philosophy and Mexican Philosophy, (e.g. Jose Vasconcelos’ La Raza Cósmica and Todologia or Enrique Dussel’s Philosophy of Liberation). I read Fransico Miro Quesada’s El hombre sin teoria parallel to Wittgenstein’s anti-theory posture, a sort of liberation from theory itself.

Just a final note, I find myself reading in a post-analytic space.

Qualifications

  • MLitt in Philosophy
  • MDiv
  • BA in Religious Studies