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Smith, Nicholas

Professor Nicholas Smith

Visiting International Research Fellow


Dept of Philosophy
Macquarie University
Sydney, Australia 

Research Interests

My main interest lies in debates in social philosophy concerned with the diagnosis of modern social pathologies. In part, this takes the form of critical engagements with figures such as Gadamer, Levinas, Habermas, Rorty, and Taylor. As well as offering interpretations of these philosophers, I have sought to integrate their insights and to bring out their continuing relevance for social criticism. These investigations have also led me to an area of enquiry that could be called the hermeneutics of work: the interpretation of work as meaningful, self-formative activity. My general approach here has been to combine insights from contemporary theories of recognition (such as Honneth’s) with social anthropologies of capitalism (such as Sennett’s), but this whole area of research is still very much in its infancy and there is much more to be done.

Research Grants

2010 - 2012. Australian Research Council Discovery Project, for ‘Work and Self-development: a philosophical reappraisal’, first named Chief Investigator with Dr Jean Philippe Deranty, Emmauel Renault and Christoph Dejours. $AUD 260,000. 

2006 -. Queen’s University Belfast International Research Fellowship, for ‘Political Philosophy and Social Hope’, Chief Investigator with Shane O’Neill. £GBP 10,000. 

2006 - 2009. Australian Research Council Discovery Project, for ‘Applying the Ethics of Recognition: Work and the Social Bond’, first named Chief Investigator with Dr Jean Philippe Deranty. $AUD 213,000. 

Recent/Selected Publications

Smith, Nicholas H. (in press), ‘Multiculturalism and Recognition’, in Duncan Ivison, ed. The Ashgate Research Companion to Multiculturalism, Aldershot: Ashgate. 

Smith, Nicholas H. (in press), ‘Expressivism in Brandom and Taylor’, in James Chase, Edwin Mares, Jack Reynolds and James Williams eds., On the Futures of Philosophy: Post-Analytic and Meta-Continental Thinking, London: Continuum. 

Smith, Nicholas H. (in press), ‘Language, Work and Hermeneutics’, in Andrzej Wiercinski ed., Hermeneutics and the Art of Conversation, Toronto, The Hermeneutic Press. 

Smith, Nicholas H. (in press), ‘Recognition, Culture and Economy: Honneth’s Debate with Fraser’, in D. Petherbridge ed., The Critical Theory of Axel Honneth, Leiden and Boston, Brill. 

Smith, Nicholas H. (in press), ‘From the Concept of Hope to the Principle of Hope’, in Janet Horrigan and Ed Wiltse eds, Hope, Amsterdam, Rodopi.  

Smith, Nicholas H. and Arto Laitinen (2009), ‘Taylor on Solidarity’, Thesis Eleven, no. 99, November, 48-70. 

Smith, Nicholas H. (2009), ‘Work and the Struggle for Recognition’, European Journal of Political Theory, vol. 8, no. 1, January, 46-60. 

Smith, Nicholas H. (2008), ‘Levinas, Habermas and Modernity’, Philosophy and Social Criticism, vol. 34, no. 6, July, 643-664. 

Smith, Nicholas H. (2008), ‘Analysing Hope’, Critical Horizons, vol. 9, no. 1, May, 5-23. 

Smith, Nicholas H. (2007), ‘The Hermeneutics of Work: On Richard Sennett’, Critical Horizons, vol. 8, no. 2, December, 186-204. 

Smith, Nicholas H. (2005), ‘Hope and Critical Theory’, Critical Horizons, vol. 6, no. 1, 45-61. 

Smith, Nicholas H. (2005), ‘Rorty on Religion and Hope’, Inquiry, vol. 48, no. 1, February, 76-98.  

For a more extensive list of publications and other information, click here