• Faculty

  • Jay Bernstein

    Distinguished Professor of Philosophy


    Office Location
    D - Albert & Vera List Academic Center - 6 East 16th Street

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    Jay Bernstein


    Jay Bernstein is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research.

    Philosophy, for me, means interrogating the foundations of our life together, how we make sense of the world, and how we fail.  Philosophy profiles the human as upright and as failing, as knowing and as blinded, as world-making and as suffering, as flourishing and as dying; and how those competing images are bound together in our morals, politics, art, and ordinary life.

    Concentrations: Social and political philosophy; contemporary Continental thought; critical theory; aesthetics; modernism; German idealism and romanticism; Anglo-American philosophy; pragmatism.

    Degrees Held

    PhD 1975, University of Edinburgh

    Recent Publications

    Selected Books

    Torture and Dignity: An Essay on Moral Injury (University of Chicago, 2015)

    Against Voluptuous Bodies: Adorno’s Late Modernism and the Meaning of Painting (Stanford, 2007)

    Classical and Romantic German Aesthetics, editor (Cambridge, 2002)

    Adorno: Disenchantment and Ethics (Cambridge, 2002)

    Recovering Ethical Life: Jürgen Habermas and the Future of Critical Theory (Routledge, 1995)

    The Fate of Art: Aesthetic Alienation from Kant to Derrida and Adorno (Polity, 1992)

    Selected Articles and Book Chapters

    "Remembering Isaac: on the Impossibility and Immporality of Faith," in Paul Kottman (ed.), The Insistence of Art: Aesthetic Philosophy after Early Modernity (Fordham, 2017)

    "'Our amphibian problem': nature in history in Adorno's Hegelian Critique of Hegel," in Rachel Zuckert and James Kreines (ed.), Hegel on Philosophy in History (Cambridge, 2016)

    “Amery’s Devastation and Resentment: An Ethnographic Transcendental Deduction,” Tijdschrift voor Filosofie (2014)

    "Blind Intuitions: Modernism's Critique of Idealism," British Journal of the History of Philosophy (web: January 2015; print: December 2014)

    “'The Demand for Ugliness’: Picasso’s Bodies,” in J.M. Bernstein, et. Al., Art and Aesthetics After Adorno (Fordham, 2013)

    "Forgetting Isaac: Faith and the Impossibility of a Postsecular Society,” in Craig Calhoun, Eduardo Mendietta, Jonathan VanAntwerpen (eds.) Habermas and Religion (Polity, 2013)

    “’the celestial Antigone, the most resplendent figure ever to have appeared on earth’: Hegel’s Feminism,” in Fanny Soderbäck (ed.), Feminist Readings of Antigone (SUNY, 2010)

    “Confession and Forgiveness: Hegel’s Poetics of Action,” in R. Eldridge (ed.), Beyond Representation (Cambridge, 1996)

    Research Interests

    Ethical modernism and political atrocity, modernism in art and philosophy, idealism and embodiment.

    Current Courses

    Ind Senior Project

    Independent Study

    Independent Study (Summer 2019)

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