Stefan Bird-Pollan

  • Associate Professor
  • International Film Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Social Theory
1421 Patterson Office Tower
Research Interests:

BA UC San Diego, 1996
D.Phi. Oxford, 2003
PhD Vanderbilt, 2008


Areas of Research:

Kant, Kant's theory of the subject and its relation to Kant's ethical theory

Hegel, Hegel's theory of the subject, Hegel's aesthetics and political philosophy

Aesthetics: the German Tradition in aesthetics from Kant to Adorno; philosophy of film/film aesthetic

Ethics, Kantian ethics

Critical Theory, especially Adorno, Benjamin and Marcuse

Psychoanlaysis, Freud, Lacan and Object Relations Theory

Political Philosophy: contemporary debates and history, 17th Century to the present.


I am interested in how theories of the subject are related to ethical theories. 

I have just completed a book, Hegel, Freud and Fanon; the Dialectic of Emancipation, on the Martiniquan social theorist and psychiatrist Frantz Fanon in which I reconstruct his theory of the subject through the work of Hegel and Freud. I show how Fanon's view of the subject preserves many important insights of the enlightenment while steering clear of the sorts of racial prejudices which are endemic in European and American society. 

Currently I am currently working on a book on which seeks to present Kant's ethics from the perspective of the embodied subject, incorporating his theory of judgment and purposiveness as the key to understanding the difference between the abstract formulations of his ethics in the Groundwork and his more embodied view in the second and third Critiques as well as in his writings on the philosophy of history. 

Courses I’ve taught at UK or expect to be teaching in the coming years:

Philosophy of Psychoanalysis

Philosophy of Law

Kant’s Ethics

Rawls and his Critics

Anti-Realist Philosophy of Mind (Wittgenstein, Sellars, Rorty, Cavell, McDowell, Brandom)

Aesthetics, the German Tradition

Modern Political Philosophy

Kant’s Conception of Purposiveness

Idealism and Realism: from McDowell to Kant

Kant and Hegel on ethics and social theory

Hegelian Idealism 

Philosophy of Film 

Modern Philosophy (Descartes to Kant) 

Selected Publications: 
  • ·        “Fanon, Freud and Hegel; The Psychological Origins of Colonial Oppression”. Forthcoming in Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society.

    ·       “Taking People as People; Kant, Judgments of Beauty and Judgments of Morality”. Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics. 5. (2013)

    ·       “Kant, Genius and Moral Development”. Kant und die Philosophie in weltbürgerlicher Absicht. Akten des XI. Kant-Kongresses 2010. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2013. vol. 4.

    ·        “Purposiveness, Need and Critique; A Kantian Reading of Marcuse”. Radical Philosophy Review. 16.1 (2013)

    ·        “Fanon, Colonialism and the Critical Ideals of German Idealism”. Critical Horizons. 13.3. (2012)

    ·        “Hegel’s Grounding of Intersubjectivity in the Master-Slave Dialectic”. Philosophy and Social Criticism. 38.3 (2012).

    ·       “Some Normative Implications of Korsgaard’s Theory of the Intersubjectivity of Reason”. Metaphilosophy. 42.4 (2011).

    “Rawls on Construction and Justification”. Public Reason, 1.2 (2009)
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