Public Philosophy Network

Encouraging and Supporting Publicly Engaged Philosophical Research and Practices


Philosophers in the City

For those doing philosophical work on urban issues

Members: 47
Latest Activity: May 9, 2016



Please see a new project that I've been working on with a colleague in theater.  We taught a course this spring called "The City as Theater," and the final course project was a performance that we called "Performing the City:  An Experiment in Civic Street Theater."  The students developed individual performances inspired by, or based on, philosophical texts that engage urban issues, and then eventually worked out ways to interact with one another and the audience.  A radio interview on the project is available:   
Radio interview: click on May 9th program
arts weekly article:  In addition. we are starting to upload videos of the performances on a youtube channel  "OurCityMay2012"  If you log onto Youtube you can find the channel by searching for it by name, and you can then subscribe to it to receive notifications as we upload new video.



If you are interested in urban issues, you might be interested in the participatory budget movement.  This is a democractic, participatory budgeting process that is popular in many cities in the global South, and is now being adopted by some cities in North America. Also see the website of the nonprofit based in New York that involves philosophers from Brooklyn College and elsewhere in this movement:

Discussion Forum

CFP Philosophy in the City Conference

Started by Sharon M. Meagher May 23, 2013. 0 Replies

Philosophy began in the city, and the city is a recurrent topic in the history of philosophy. The urban promises to become an important challenge for humanity (and life in general) in the 21st…Continue

Proposed Panel on Segregation, Integration, and Justice in Housing

Started by Ronald Sundstrom Jun 22, 2012. 0 Replies

I meant to post a message to this blog but instead sent a message to everyone in the affinity group—sorry, I'm figuring out how this space works.As I mentioned in my message, I'd like to put together…Continue

Blogs and other Online Resources

Started by Robert Kirkman. Last reply by Sharon M. Meagher Oct 24, 2011. 2 Replies

I'm curious to know what blogs and other online resources exist that might inform philosophical engagement with cities. Before I get to the shameless plug for my own…Continue

Tags: ethics, sustainability, resources, online, blogs

'The BioPolitics of Homelessness' - a work in progress

Started by Kevin S. Jobe Dec 9, 2010. 0 Replies

The BioPolitics of Homelessness Kevin S. JobePhilosophy DepartmentSUNY at Stony BrookDissertation Proposal Outline, in progressOne of the central problems of the public health industry at least since…Continue

Tags: foucault, neoliberal, biopower, biopolitics, homelessness

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Philosophers in the City to add comments!

Comment by Carmen Marcous on May 9, 2016 at 12:29pm

Comment by Joseph S. Biehl on October 1, 2015 at 9:02pm

If you are in NYC on October 20, please join Graham Priest for an interesting discussion on the philosophical conditions that underly the mess we're in.

Comment by Sharon M. Meagher on June 29, 2013 at 9:26pm

Eric Nelson posted this on commurb e-list and it's relevant to us:

On Tuesday, a Supreme Court case called Koontz vs. St Johns Waterfront Management was decided and it appears to have far reaching implications for urban development, climate change response, and private property vs. public goods. I basically makes it easier for developers to get around local regulations and impact fees:

"The Supreme Court just handed real estate developers a huge win."
"How the Supreme Court Made it Harder to Prepare for Climate Change".
Details of the case:
Comment by Ronald Sundstrom on May 12, 2013 at 3:05pm

I recently created a Google+ community devoted to "Philosophy & Urban Affairs." I'm in contact with folks inside and outside of philosophy who are doing work in urban affairs and issues of "place" and I wanted to create a space that is public for us to share ideas, developments, and news about our projects. It's a new thing and it isn't assured to get off the ground (so few of these blog-like things do), but I'd like to try anyway. If you'd like to be a part of it, go to:

Comment by Sharon M. Meagher on October 8, 2011 at 11:22am

Peter Marcuse has posted some reflections on Occupy Wall Street and related matters on his blog.  The text is 4 pages, but here is his summary:

 1.                Occupy Wall Street doesn’t      make specific      demands. Understandably. There is a difference between immediate      demands and      claims of rights, and the Occupy movement is about targeting      claims of rights.

2.                This is not only for      strategic reasons – it’s      not their role – but also on principle; its supporters don’t want      to get into      the game, they want to change its unfair rules.

3.                They do not seek consensus      but understand the      inevitably of conflict. They wish to stand with the 99% and      recognize that this      means losses for the 1%,  but      not losses      that would seriously impinge on their needs.

4.                The space they have chosen      to organize their      protest is not classic public space, but space in the heart of the      territory in      which the activities and forces they target operate. It is both a      physically and      a symbolically well-chosen space for their purpose.


I’ve added


5.                A short reflection on what      I saw and felt at the      march to Zuccotti Park on March 5, and

6.                A somewhat flip comparison      between the Occupy      Wall Street movement and several others, from the tea party to the      reform      Democrats to the fringe cultural conservatives, hinting that they      are all      reacting to much the same basic insecurity/discontent.


Comment by Clarissa Hayward on August 15, 2011 at 1:34pm

Dear Philosophers in the City group members,


Just a quick note to let you know about a new volume I edited with Todd Swanstrom, Justice and the American Metropolis, which is just out from the University of Minnesota Press.


We have a terrific list of contributors, including Susan Fainstein, Richard Thompson Ford, Gerald Frug, Loren King, Margaret Kohn, Stephen Macedo, Douglas Rae, Clarence Stone, Margaret Weir, and Thad Williamson, all of whom address the question of what justice requires in the contemporary metropolis.


Here is a link to the press’s page for the book:


Here is a link to the press’s exam copy policy. Because the paperback is priced at $25, any university instructor who is considering adopting it for a course can order an exam copy.


I hope you like the book!


All best,


Comment by Ross Lawrence Wolfe on August 13, 2011 at 8:52am

Those who are interested in original research, Russian/German/French translation, and what I consider to be a fairly audacious reading of modernist urbanism may be interested in my forthcoming thesis, which I'm releasing in excerpts.  I would very much like to know what people would have to say about the following:


"The Graveyard of Utopia: Soviet Urbanism and the Fate of the Inter... (section 1)

"The Graveyard of Utopia: Soviet Urbanism and the Fate of the Inter... (section 2)

Comment by Sharon M. Meagher on July 22, 2011 at 1:44pm
I hope that members will join me at the workshop Philosophy and/in the City at the PPN conference, Oct. 6-8 2011 in Washington, DC. The workshop itself will be on the afternoon of Oct. 7th. I'm looking for members of the Philosophy and the City affinity group to participate actively, sharing their relevant research, teaching and community-based project ideas. If you register for the conference SOON, you will get an official acceptance letter and be listed on the program.
Comment by Ross Lawrence Wolfe on June 30, 2011 at 6:56pm
Comment by Ross Lawrence Wolfe on June 30, 2011 at 6:25pm
Check out my posts for some writings by the architects/urbanists Bruno Taut of Germany and Nikolai Ladovskii of Russia.

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