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School of Modern Languages and Cultures: French Studies

Staff in the Department of French

Go to the MLAC staff pages.

Dr Gerald Moore, BA, MA (Warwick), PhD (Cantab)

Associate Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42909
Room number: A42, Elvet Riverside I
Associate in the Department of Philosophy

(email at gerald.moore@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

I studied Politics & Philosophy and Continental Philosophy at the University of Warwick before completing a PhD on contemporary French philosophy at the University of Cambridge, in 2007. I then spent two years teaching at Université Paris-Est Créteil (formerly Université Paris-12) and three at the University of Oxford, before coming to Durham in 2012.

Postgraduate Supervision

In the past, I have supervised doctoral students on topics including the political thought of Simone Weil, Gaston Bachelard, and the philosophy and literature of mourning from Proust to Derrida. My current students are working on topics relating to the political implications of recent and contemporary continental philosophy (Deleuze, Derrida, Jameson, Malabou, Simondon, Stiegler), often with specific reference to technology, digital culture and the life sciences.

I am interested in supervising graduate work on any aspect of recent-contemporary French and continental thought, especially where examined in its relation to other disciplines, such as Science and Technology Studies, biology and neuroscience, psychoanalysis, anthropology, literature, politics and economics. I am particularly keen to supervise projects in the field of Digital Studies, which is to say, exploring the interrelationship between technology and cultural production. I would pleased to look at postdoctoral research applications in these areas, too, and currently sponsor one postdoc, working on the contemporary French philosophy of biology.

Research Interests

Although I occasionally dabble in literature and literary criticism, I am a political philosopher by training and continue to work primarily in this field. My research focuses on the contemporary French philosophy with technology, and on the impact of technical evolution on politics, anthropology and evolutionary biology, in particular. Related to this, one current line of research focuses on technology addiction and the surprising role that philosophical engagements with technology addiction have played in the history of philosophy, including in the work of Plato and Kant. I am also interested in the potential of philosophy and the humanities in general for sociocultural and economic criticism, notably concerning digital society and the relationship between technological revolutions and shifting patterns of thought across history.

My first book, Politics of the Gift, looked at economics and politics in the work of thinkers including Jacques Lacan, Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida, exploring how they took on emerging anthropological ideas about exchange (notably gift-economics) as a way of moving beyond traditional Marxism, but also as a way of reinventing the institution of philosophy, which was threatened with obsolescence by the rise of the social sciences. My more recent work poses the same questions, while moving from the social to the harder sciences: what role, if any, does philosophy still have to play in an era dominated by the technologies of bioscience and financial economics? 

I like how Michel Houellebecq has addressed these questions in self-effacing novels that consider any kind of philosophical or literary thinking as an increasingly exhausted, useless luxury. I share his cynicism, but not his surrender to technological messianism, nor despair over the impotence of the arts and humanities to contribute to the possibility of redemption. My faith in the transformative power of culture nonetheless does not extend to the kinds of research that content themselves with providing services for the leisure market, leaving the ‘real’ work to the sciences. Related to this, I intervene in debates around the ‘two cultures’, specifically in relation to our prevailing predicament of economic and environmental collapse. Should the humanities resign themselves to having been superseded by technoscience, or has their importance been systematically undermined by a society interested only in use-value? I argue the latter, both in my published work and in the public sphere. Some of these debates, at the How The Light Gets In philosophy festival in Hay-on-Wye, are available to watch online

My main interlocutor on these questions is the philosopher of technology, Bernard Stiegler, with whom I have collaborated since 2008. I serve on the Conseil d’Adminstration of Stiegler’s think tank and lobby group, Ars Industrialis, and am an active member of his Digital Studies Network, based at the Centre Pompidou’s Institut de Recherche et d’Innovation in Paris. 

I am currently working on two monographs: Bernard Stiegler: Philosophy in the Age of Technology (for Polity); and a shorter essay, Artificial Selection: The Digital Age and the Rusing of Nature, which explores technology as a mode of selection and its relation to the Anthropocene and the predicted end of capitalism.

Research Groups

  • Digital Studies - Convenor

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2016: Radio interviews, RTS: As part of a two-week series on the work of the think tank, Ars Industrialis, I conducted a series of interviews for Radio Télévision Suisse's 'Histoire vivante' programme.

Selected Publications

Authored book

  • Forthcoming Bernard Stiegler: Philosophy in the Age of Industrial Technology, Polity.
  • 2018 (co-authored with Crowley, Martin, James, Ian & Stiegler, Bernard) Thinking with Stiegler: Organology, Proletarianization, and Technical Life, Polity.
  • 2011 Politics of the Gift: Exchanges in Poststructuralism, Edinburgh University Press, 223 pp.

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

Other (Print)

Translated Book

Show all publications

Related Links

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Philosophy:
  • Political thought & theory:
  • People: Evolution and Biology:
  • European & other international expertise: Politics and digital culture
  • Europe: Language, literature & culture: Politics and digital culture
  • Europe: Politics, institutions & law: Politics and digital culture
  • Language, Literature & the Arts: Politics and digital culture
  • The Media: Politics and digital culture
  • Science & Technology: Politics and digital culture
  • People: Evolution and Biology: Politics and digital culture
  • Science: Education, industry & the community: Politics and digital culture

Supervises