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Leonard Harris

Leonard Harris

Professor // Philosophy

Joyce and Edward E. Brewer Chair in Applied Ethics // Philosophy

Professor // Philosophy and Literature // SIS

Affiliated Faculty // African American Studies // SIS

Affiliated Faculty // American Studies // SIS

Curriculum vitae

Office and Contact

Room: BRNG 7121


Phone: (765) 496-3860

Fax: (765) 496-1616

Leonard Harris: Professor of Philosophy, Franz Fanon Lifetime Achievement Award, Caribbean Philosophical Association, 2014; Study Abroad, Dean’s Research Award, China, Nepal, 2013; Commissioner to UNESCO, Department of State, 2012; lecture series for Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR), Ministry of Human Resources and Development, Government of India, 2012.
Harris rejects the transcendental and metaphysical moorings of Western and Eastern philosophy; rejects valorization of categorically impossible monsters (including unified selves and reasoning machines); phenomenology, existentialism, dialectical materialism, rationalism and the narrowness of classical pragmatism along with their definitions of philosophy are rejected in favor of leaving the Asylum and offering a conception of philosophy as Philosophia nata ex conatu (philosophy born from the process, philosophy as sourced by strife, tenaciousness, organisms striving - a leaning forward into the future - encompassing a wide variety of versions); imagining beyond reason and lived experience. Harrisian version: pluriverse sense of universality (no uniformitarian universalism), the ethics of insurrection, racism as a form of necro-being and described using an actuarial model, traditions as inventions, dignity as a sortal and pragmatic (not intrinsic) good, communities as anabsolute, the tragic as irredeemable suffering without recompense in this amoral universe, and an embrace of the abolitionist sensibility of anti-ableism, prison abolition and orientations that imagine futures which no longer expect one more law to fix injustice.
Author, A Philosophy of Struggle: Leonard Harris Reader, London: Bloombury, 2020; Guest Editor: Diogène Revue internationae des sciences humaines: Africana. Une philosophie de l’africanié, Accès aux articles la parution du numéro 235-236, 2012; Co-editor, Jacoby A. Carter, African American and African Philosophy Book Series, 2015; Co-editor, Jacoby A. Carter, Philosophical Values and World Citizenship, New York: Routledge/Lexington Books, 2010; Editor, Philosophy Born of Struggle: Afro-American Philosophy from 1917, Iowa: Kendall-Hunt Publishing Co., 1984; Symposium on Insurrectionist Ethics (Harrisonian approach), Transactions of the C. S. Peirce Society, 49:1, Winter 2013.


American Philosophy, Continental European Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy


A PHILOSOPHY OF STRUGGLE, Leonard Harris; Lee A. McBride, III, Editor