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Stephen Ferguson II

Assoc Professor

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Withers Hall 446


Born in Topeka, Kansas, I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. After graduating from Lincoln High School, I attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where I received my bachelor’s degree in philosophy and history with a minor in Black Studies. I later attended the University of Kansas where I received my doctorate in philosophy.

My most recent book The Paralysis of Analysis in African American Studies: Corporate Capitalism and Black Popular Culture develops a dialectical materialist philosophical framework for examining Black popular culture. From an extensive discussion of the philosophy and political economy of Hip-Hop music through to an exploration of the influence of Cornel West, Anthony Appiah, Mark Anthony Neal and bell hooks on African American studies, I demonstrate how postmodernism-poststructuralist ideology provides a justification for the convergence of corporate capitalism and contemporary Black popular culture.

My other book (co-authored with John H. McClendon III) is titled African American Philosophers and Philosophy: An Introduction to the History, Concepts and Contemporary Issues (Bloomsbury 2019).

This book is the first book-length philosophical examination of academic African American philosophers and philosophy from 1865 to now. We examine how African American philosophers have developed a formidable body of works about philosophy, particularly how the Black experience is related to the “big questions” in the areas of metaphilosophy, epistemology, philosophy of science, history of philosophy, philosophy of social science, philosophy of history, philosophy of religion, ontology and political philosophy.

Recently, I had a visiting professorship at the University of Pittsburgh in the philosophy department. I have served as the co-editor of the American Philosophical Association’s Newsletter on Philosophy and the Black Experience. It has recently been renamed as APA Studies on Philosophy and the Black Experience. While I am no longer the co-editor, I continue to contribute to the newsletter.


Research Publications

His other publications included:

  • “ ‘Black Radical Liberalism’ and the Retreat from Class: The Life and Legacy of Charles W. Mills,” American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and the Black Experience 22(1) (Fall 2022), 4-12.
  • “Another World Is Possible: A Marxist Philosophy of Revolution,” American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and the Black Experience 18(2) (Spring 2019), 8-15.
  • “Exploring the Matter of Race: A Materialist Philosophical Inquiry,” in Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race, ed. Naomi Zack (Oxford University Press, 2017)
  • “Categorial Conversion as Nkrumaist Dialectics: Dialectical Arguments in Nkrumah’s Consciencism,” in Disentangling Consciencism: Kwame Nkrumah’s Practical Philosophy Today, ed. Martin Ajei (Lexington Books, 2017)
  • “Shreds of Truth: The Antinomy and Synechdoche in the Work of Ta-Nehisi Coates,” co-authored with Gregory Meyerson, Works & Days (Special Issue: Scholactivism: Reflections on Transforming Praxis Inside and Outside the Classroom) 33-34 (2016-2017), 251-298.
  •  Philosophy of African American Studies: Nothing Left of Blackness (Palgrave 2015).
  • “The Philosopher King: Dialectics in the Political Thought and Practice of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” in Philosophical Perspectives on Martin Luther King, Jr., ed. Robert E. Birt (Lexington Books, 2012), 87-107.
  • “The History of African American Philosophy and Philosophers: A General Outline,” co-authored with John H. McClendon, in The Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2011), 509-523.


Ph.D. Philosophy University of Kansas 2004

B.A. Philosophy & History with a minor in Black Studies University of Missouri-Columbia 1996

Area(s) of Expertise

Social and Political Philosophy, Africana Philosophy, Philosophy of Sport, Philosophy of African American Studies


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