Student Profile: Michael Ward II

Michael Ward II

I am a first year Masters student at Temple University in the philosophy department. Currently, I am doing coursework with the intent of completing a master’s thesis; in the future, I may seek a Ph.D. Also, I am taking this course for credit.

Research Interests: Continental Philosophy, Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy

I am interested in exploring different definitions of revolution or what it means to revolt. I want to know how the concept of revolution relates to other (contested) concepts like insurrection and terrorism. Developing a complex understanding of revolt can be useful when seeking to define these other concepts and to explain how they relate to one another. Likewise, any exploration of revolt inevitably involves an interrogation of the concept of political legitimacy, a critique of current systems, and the contemplation of alternatives.

Recently, I have been researching the theoretical and political applications and implications of the term ‘terrorism’ specifically in the context of Irish resistance to British domination. It’s my contention that perhaps the term ‘terrorism’ can be useful, but that the current political and academic discourse is politically suspect and is not self-critical leaving the definition to be mostly vacuous. The development of a working definition of revolution may shed light on the process of developing a useful definition of terrorism. Thus, I want to connect my research on terrorism with research on political legitimacy and revolution; in conjunction, I want to see how the theoretical delineation of these complex concepts-like revolution and terrorism-are connected to the actual lived experiences of people.

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