Lewis Gordon bigraphy, stories - Philosophers

Lewis Gordon : biography

1962 -

Lewis Ricardo Gordon (born 1962) is an American philosopher who works in the areas of Africana philosophy, philosophy of human and life sciences, phenomenology, philosophy of existence, social and political theory, postcolonial thought, theories of race and racism, philosophies of liberation, aesthetics, philosophy of education, and philosophy of religion. He has written particularly extensively on race and racism, postcolonial phenomenology, Africana and black existentialism, and on the works and thought of W. E. B. Du Bois and Frantz Fanon.

Classification of Gordon's contributions to sociology and philosophy

Gordon considers all of his works to be part of a humanist tradition. The role of intellectuals, in his view, is to challenge the limits of human knowledge and, in so doing, achieve some advancement in what he calls “the Geist war.” For him, the importance of intellectual work could be summarized by his claim that one “achieves” as a human being for humanity but one always fails alone. Gordon’s work has also been characterized as a form of existential sociology. The sociological dimensions of his writings have received much attention, and the readers of his most recent book, Disciplinary Decadence: Living Thought in Trying Times (2006) have described it as a work that is not only in philosophy (of disciplinarity) but also in education and the sociology of the formations of disciplines themselves. Gordon, however, describes what he is attempting to do as a teleological suspension of disciplinarity.

Online Articles by Lewis Gordon

  • , 2000
  • , 2003
  • , 2005
  • , 2006
  • , 2007
  • ,Truthout, 2010
  • , Truthout, 12 May 2012
  • , 2011. (Original title: Manifiesto de Transdiciplinariedad. Para no volvernos esclavos del conocimiento de otros) by Lewis Gordon published in the student journal Trans-pasando Fronteras (URL visited 29 august 2012)


Gordon graduated in 1984 from Lehman College, CUNY, through the Lehman Scholars Program, with a B.A., magna cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He completed his MA and M. Phil. in philosophy in 1991 at Yale University, and received his Ph.D. with distinction from the same university in 1993. Following the completion of his doctoral studies, Gordon taught at Brown University, Yale, and Purdue University. He is currently the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy at Temple University in the Department of Philosophy with affiliations in Religious and Judaic Studies, and an Ongoing Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Government at the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica.

At Temple, he is Director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought, which is devoted to research on the complexity and social dimensions of race and racism. The ISRST's many projects include developing a consortium on Afro-Latin American Studies, a Philadelphia Blues People Project, semiological studies of indigeneity, a Black Civil Society project, symposia on race, sexuality, and sexual health, and ongoing work in Africana philosophy. Gordon was Executive Editor of volumes I-V of Radical Philosophy Review: Journal of the Radical Philosophy Association and co-editor of the Routledge book series on Africana philosophy. Additionally, Gordon is also President of the Caribbean Philosophical Association.

Gordon is the founder of the Center for Afro-Jewish Studies, the only such research center, which focuses on developing and providing reliable sources of information on African and African Diasporic Jewish or Hebrew-descended populations. Dr. Gordon states: "In actuality, there is no such thing as pure Jewish blood. Jews are a creolized [mixed-race] people. It's been that way since at least the time we left Egypt as a [culturally] mixed Egyptian and African [i.e., from other parts of Africa] people."

Gordon founded the Second Chance Program at Lehman High School in the Bronx, New York. He is married to Dr. Jane Anna Gordon.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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